The monarch’s burning skin, blurred vision and extreme logorrhoea confounded the leading physicians of the day and led to a raft of futile treatments (from brutal blistering to violent purges and detailed inspection of the resulting royal stool) as they attempted to restore him to the physical and mental health necessary to maintain political stability.

There’s strong support from Beatie Edney’s devoted Queen Charlotte (his beloved “Mrs King” before illness takes over), Clive Francis’s no-nonsense Lincolnshire clergyman turned doctor, Nicholas Rowe’s sombre Prime Minister Pitt in denial about the king’s condition, and Christopher Keegan’s rotund Prince of Wales with his eye on the throne.

But this is Haig’s evening. Jovially likeable when well, immensely moving in undignified suffering, his is a performance which has “award-winning” written all over it.

Apollo Shaftesbury Avenue, W1D 7EZ
0844 412 4658
Tube: Piccadilly Circus
Until 31st March
£20.00 – £65.00

Review: Louise Kingsley