Tag Archives: To Play the King

A comment on the Previously TV forum:

In the second part (To Play the King), Michael Kitchen did IMO a helluva good job as the Prince of Wales/King; this was in 1993. I just looked him up; he’s almost exactly the same age as the PoW. I’m thinking he might be a good choice for the PoW in the final (old guy) stretch of The Crown.

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michael kitchen family tom stoppard birthdaymichael kitchen tom stoppard birthday

Michael Kitchen, Rowena Miller/Kitchen, and their son, Jack, attend Tom Stoppard’s birthday party at the Chelsea Physic Garden in London on July 1.

He’s gotten his thirty-something figure back.

Michael Kitchen and his wife were also photographed together at the 1994 BAFTA Awards where he was a best actor nominee for To Play the King.


Michael Kitchen running on screen over the years.

Good to know that “An Hour of Running May Add 7 Hours to Your Life“.




Can’t see any seeds of hope flowering in this country as long as the present government remains in power and drastic measures like the “nuclear option” are invoked.



michael kitchen house of cards to play the king you're a monster

How is it that so many Americans still feel otherwise about those currently in charge?

If only congressional members of the ruling party had half the spine and the morals of Michael Kitchen’s king.





Posted last month by a Shaftesbury resident on northstandchat.com:

Michael Kitchen of Foyle’s War and the like is also a regular [in my local Tesco] and he also uses the same swimming pool as my wife each morning.

Art imitates life.


“Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.” – Henry IV


Politically outmaneuvered by Prime Minister Urquhart.  

According to the Wikipedia page for To Play the King, in the original novel by Michael Dobbs the King is not forced to give in to any demand by Urquhart to abdicate but instead “willingly abdicates ahead of the general election, indicating that he will stand against Urquhart. In fact, he insists on his abdication being handled before Urquhart can call the election. Rather than feeling confident that the King has been politically neutered, Urquhart is left feeling that the ground is slipping beneath him.” How satisfying would it have been to see the King hold the upper hand over Urquhart in the dramatized version also as he thinks he does here:




To Play the King: Michael Kitchen: alighting from car

What might it be like if Michael Kitchen attended publicity events… 🙄







The King’s political naiveté proves to be his undoing when he follows through on his ideas and attempts to undermine Urquhart.


House of Cards: To Play the King: Michael Kitchen: coronation

Michael Kitchen’s big blue eyes, wing ears, bump in the nose, and curls all captured with a few strokes of pen.

Illustration: The New Yorker, Jan. 17, 1994



House of Cards: To Play the King: Michael Kitchen: composite 1
House of Cards: To Play the King: Michael Kitchen: composite 2
House of Cards: To Play the King: Michael Kitchen: composite 3
House of Cards: To Play the King: Michael Kitchen: composite 4

My top 20 Michael Kitchen roles:

20.  The King in House of Cards: To Play the King (1993)

One of MK’s most acclaimed portrayals but not that high on my list – maybe because I don’t enjoy seeing a “monster” get the better of MK.


House of Cards: To Play the King: gorgeous Michael Kitchen: closeup 1
House of Cards: To Play the King: gorgeous Michael Kitchen: closeup 2
House of Cards: To Play the King: gorgeous Michael Kitchen: closeup 3

This king has the most brilliant blue eyes.  I’m told To Play the King recently aired on some PBS stations, so I thought I’d revisit it. 

pdx144 said:

Those eyes, that mouth, that face.  A king by any standards. Can’t stop looking at that last one.

My favorite one, too.


To Play the King: Michael Kitchen: meeting with Urquhart 1
To Play the King: Michael Kitchen: meeting with Urquhart 2
To Play the King: Michael Kitchen: meeting with Urquhart 3
To Play the King: Michael Kitchen: meeting with Urquhart 4
To Play the King: Michael Kitchen: meeting with Urquhart 5

One look at his steely blue eyes and set jaw and you know this King is determined to do battle with the Prime Minister.

In an interview with Patricia Brennan of the Washington Post published on Jan. 16, 1994, Ian Richardson revealed that Michael Kitchen “was our last choice, really. One actor turned it down because he was very friendly with certain members of the junior royal family. Another turned it down because he was recently knighted and thought it would be inappropriate. Another turned it down because he wanted to write. But we ended up with a miraculous fit.”

Wow. So glad the role eventually made its way to MK.






In To Play the King, Michael Kitchen plays a vigorous king who swims, jogs, lifts weights, and makes out with his smitten assistant.  He does seem to be doing those reps fast enough to sustain an injury.


House of Cards: To Play the King: Michael Kitchen: crossing swords with Urquhart 1
House of Cards: To Play the King: Michael Kitchen: crossing swords with Urquhart 2House of Cards: To Play the King: Michael Kitchen: crossing swords with Urquhart 3

A stroll in the garden ends with the King and Prime Minister Urquhart crossing swords.