Leading Stories

by Aubrey Shelton, Staff Writer

“King Arthur’s Socks” is an excellent display of talent and technical application from the students of the University of West Florida, restrained by an imperfect script.

“King Arthur’s Socks,” written by Floyd Dell and directed by Katie Smith, is a dramatically romantic comedy centered around the legendary Queen Guinevere and Sir Lancelot of English folklore.

In the original myth, Guinevere has an affair with Lancelot, unbeknownst to King Arthur, and they decide to run from Camelot and elope.  In their absence, Arthur falls into a deep depression and the Knights of the Round Table fell to ruin. At the same time, Lancelot and Guinevere grew apart, the latter becoming a nun before passing suddenly and the former dying of grief.

This play is a far more chipper, portraying a peppy Guinevere in her role as an early 1900s housewife, married to the illustrious Dr. Arthur Robinson, “king” of psychology.  Chasing her is Lancelot Jones, artist, philanthropist, and womanizer.

The script tip-toes around Lancelot’s character, speaking of him like some kind of curse as every woman enters the stage just to be chastised or consoled by Guinevere for their affair with the man, only for her to turn around and reveal her own love the second he enters the stage.

This drastic change in character can only be blamed on the script, but actress Maddison Dixon added specific moments to make Guinevere’s intent far more evident to the audience.

Actors salvaging their roles was a common theme in this show, with Allison Bahmer modernizing the character of Vivien and Shelby Tudor bringing an eccentric touch to Mary and a laugh to the audience.

Even alumni Dakota Scarborough had to transform Lancelot in his own right, forming him from a simple, faithless playboy to a dynamic character that displays both gentlemanly affection and a penchant for hiding his true feelings.

All things considered, “King Arthur’s Socks” is a splendid display of student talent, undiluted by the assistance of a professor and unencumbered by the weight of grades.  The script may leave audiences wanting more, but the actors leave them in need of an encore.