Based on a book called The King’s Grave: The search for Richard the Third, by Philippa Langley and Michael Jones, director Stephen Frears has made a comedy/drama of this true story about the finding of the body of a king lost for 500 years.
The name of King Richard III conjures up Shakespeare’s version of an evil hunchback who was the usurper of the English throne. Certainly he was one of England’s most controversial kings.
He reigned from 1483 to 1485 – but perhaps he was not as much of a villain as he was in Shakespeare’s play.
In film The Lost King, we see Philippa Langley (played by the wonderful Sally Hawkins) fails to get a promotion at her work in sales. She suffers from chronic fatigue syndrome, and stress with her job doesn’t help.
She has tickets to Shakespeare’s Richard III in the evening – her ex-husband John (Steve Coogan), who jointly shares the caring for their two boys does not want to go, so she takes the eldest son.
That night she wakes and finds an apparition of Richard III (Harry Lloyd) sitting dressed in full regalia outside her bedroom window. She knows it is an apparition, but it seems the communication is real and they have a good chat.
An obsession develops, as she feels Richard is much maligned – and she becomes an amateur historian sleuth. She gives up her job, borrows eight books about Richard from the local library, and joins The Richard III Society, dedicated to reforming the king’s reputation. Richard (the apparition) is often with her – sometimes riding a white horse.
She is treated with great skepticism by her friends, family and academics ,but has a feeling that a place marked with a large white R (for Reserved) in a parking lot is the place where Richard was buried.
She meets up with Richard Buckley (Mark Addy) from the University of Leicester, finances are found, excavations are made, and the body of a king which was lost for 500 years is found.
His bones are now in their rightful place in Leicester Cathedral.
Philippa Langley was awarded an MBE by Queen Elizabeth in 2015.
Showing at Camelot Outdoor Theatre at 16 Lochee Street, Mosman Park on Wednesday, December 21 at 8 pm. There will be live music from Zero Growth prior to the film. Pizzas and salads are available at the theatre, or you can take your own picnic. Doors open at 6.15 pm.
Showing at other cinemas from Boxing Day.
Watch then trailer…