Shows K

suspect the affair! Kean admits that he is jealous, not of her husband but of the Prince! Elena informs Kean of her own petty jealousy - if he appears on stage with Anna there will be grave consequences. She will be sharing a stage box with the Prince and can't be held accountable for her actions if her demands aren't met. They have reached a stalemate and she exits into the secret passage. The Count and the Prince enter the dressing room stating that they heard a woman's voice while still outside the door. Kean admits nothing and the disgruntled Count exits. The Prince asks the identity of the veiled woman, suspecting that it was the Countess Elena. Kean assures him that it was not, and asks the Prince not to share his box with the Countess at this evening's performance. The Prince says that he would agree on the condition that Kean never sees Elena again. When no agreement is reached, the Prince exits. Anna re-enters from the secret passage and they review the "Othello" scene again, complete with Desdemona's strange "Willow Song." On the other side of the curtain, we find the nobles greeting each other. Neville enters sporting black tie and black eye and tells the Countess that her lover and Miss Danby were at the Green Frog together! The Countess becomes even more upset when the curtain rises and Anna is playing Desdemona. The battle is on! Elena inquires rather loudly of the Prince if Miss Danby could be any worse in the role of Desdemona! Both Anna and Kean begin to forget their lines as Neville shouts that Kean is a fool. Kean quickly tries to resume the scene, but despite Solomon's prompting Anna is still lost. Elena asks, "Why doesn't he kill her and have done with it?" Kean leaps towards the Prince's box and demands silence! The audience responds with jeers and shouts and Kean begins verbally to attack them too. Kean asks the crowd "Who is Kean? An actor? A person?" The disgruntled and confused Kean relinquishes his title as "King of London" and offers his "subjects" back to the Prince as he storms offstage. The angry crowd exits the theatre demanding satisfaction for the offensive behaviour of their former favourite actor. Kean has offended the Prince of Wales and is therefore a traitor! He is no longer the "King of London" but the King of Clowns. Christie and the acrobats (Tim, Pip and David) try to assuage the crowd realising that their livelihood is over if they don't win them back. They devise a plot to change the spirits of the crowd with an optimistic song. We find Kean in his sitting room where he has spent the night staring into the mirror. Barnaby, Ben, and Francis offer him a bottle of whisky to drown his troubles but he responds it does not matter as he shall never act again! They exit as he resignedly awaits his arrest for publicly insulting the Prince. A series of hasty encounters begins - Anna enters and states that she has been offered a contract in New York and is leaving for America. Solomon enters and announces that the Countess has arrived and Anna is quickly ushered into the secret passageway. The Countess enters and Kean begs her forgiveness, trying to convince her that they must escape together. The Count's voice is heard outside the door and Elena heads for the first secret passage only to find that Anna is already hiding there! She secrets herself in the second passage as the Count enters demanding satisfaction. He knows that there is a woman hiding in the passage and he suspects that it is his wife! Anna enters from the first passage and discredits her own reputation to save Kean from duelling with the Count. Two Guardsmen enter and arrest Kean by order of the Prince of Wales. The evening's performance is about to begin, Kean is stopped as he crosses the stage by the Prince who dismisses the guards. The Prince admits that he, Kean and Elena are all very much alike – dependant on the love of others, but all three quite incapable of loving. The Prince offers Kean a choice – prison or a public apology. The Prince goes to join Lady Goswell as the other nobles gather in their private boxes. Kean tells the stage manager to raise the curtain and begins his public apology to the Prince. The Prince soon realises that Kean is not using his own words, but those of the Bard to fashion his "Apology." As lights cast three enormous shadows on the wall behind him, Kean calls for an ending to this lifetime of confusion. Who is he really? Othello? Hamlet? Richard? Does he deal in truth only through the illusion of the stage? As the curtain falls, Kean begs the audience that created this illusion finally to make him real!