One of the best loved and most successful of A.R.T. productions, The King Stag has delighted audiences worldwide, and returns prior to a new national tour as a special treat for the whole family. Gozzi's magical tale brings to life King Deramo, the faithful Angela who loves him, his treacherous prime minister Tartaglia, several hare-brained members of his court, a magician, a parrot, magical stags, and a giant bear. It's a fairy tale for all ages, a story of love and betrayal, intrigue and mirth, magic spells and pageantry. The scene is the Oriental kingdom of Serendippo and the forest of Miracoli.
Deramo, king of the Oriental kingdom of Serendippo, is searching for a wife. With the aid of a magical statue, he has already interviewed and rejected 748 candidates before meeting Angela, the beautiful daughter of his Second Minister. She alone loves him not for his crown but for himself.
Unfortunately Angela is also loved by the evil Tartaglia, Prime Minister of Serendippo, who is determined that the King shall marry his daughter Clarice.
Soon Tartaglia has hatched a terrible plan. He discovers that Deramo knows a magic spell with which he can transfer his soul into the body of a dead creature. When the King and his court are out hunting in the enchanted forest of Miracoli, Tartaglia seizes his moment and challenges Deramo to demonstrate his magical powers by sending his soul into the corpse of a stag they have just killed. The King does so, whereupon Tartaglia, repeating the spell, implants his own spirit in the dead body of the King.
Mayhem ensues, and for a time all seems lost for Deramo and Angela. But this is a fairy tale, and as in all the best fairy tales, everything ends happily ever after.
Most recent tour concluded at the Barbican Centre, London, August 15 - September 2, 2001.