NTLive at Home streaming The Madness of George III from Nottingham Playhouse for free on YouTube


We were delighted that in June 2020 NTLive streamed a free recording of the 2018 Nottingham Playhouse production of the Madness of George III which could be be viewed across the world.

The Georgian Papers Programme worked very closely with both the Playhouse and NTLive to support the original production, briefing the cast, supplying material for props, staging an exhibition at Windsor for the actor portraying George, the wonderful Mark Gatiss, and then mounting it online, and providing programme notes and a pre-performance talk. You can see a record of Mark’s visit to Windsor in the introduction to the play produced by NTLive:

We also staged two events linked to the play – a discussion with the playwright and first director of the play back in the 1990s, Alan Bennett and Nicholas Hytner, and then a reflection on the Nottingham production with Mark Gatiss, director Adam Penford, historians Barbara Taylor and Mike Brown, and Sir Simon Wessely from a clinical perspective (for which we staged another exhibition).

We can’t recommend the performance highly enough for anyone interested in the eighteenth-century or the issues it raises about mental illness more generally – we ourselves now have three interrelated research projects which arise directly from our engagement with the creative artists involved and the reflection it provoked on the historical treatment of the King’s illness, so well documented in the Georgian Papers.  It was broadcast on the NTLive channel on You Tube.  If you ever get the chance to see it in future, do!

Arthur Burns, academic director of GPP, joined the director and members of the cast to look back on the production to celebrate the screening on NTLive. You can view the conversation below, including Adrian Scarborough’s memorable rendition of Hamlet’s soliloquy in the voice of Alan Bennett!


You can find our materials relating to the play and production in the following places:

Mark Gatiss as George III discusses official papers with his ministers in the Nottingham Playhouse production of the Madness of George III. Photo: (c) Manuel Harlan for Nottingham Playhouse

Mental Health in the Georgian World: The ‘Madness’ of George III: recording of symposium with Mark Gatiss, Adam Penford, Mike Brown, Barbara Taylor, Karin Wulf and Arthur Burns, 5 Nov. 2019. An associated blog post by Arthur Burns and Karin Wulf at The Madness of George III revisited: reflections on Mental Health in the Georgian World.

Just write it, I’ll make it work’ – King George III through the eyes of Alan Bennett & Nicholas Hytner: recording of interview between Alan Read and Alan Bennett and Nicholas Hytner, 5 Oct. 2016

The Madness of George III explored: an exhibition for Mark Gatiss: an exhibition staged at Windsor for Mark Gatiss when preparing for his role, and then reproduced online: also seen in the pre-show film when the NTLive production was shown in cinemas.

George III: the Eighteenth Century’s Most Prominent Mental Health Patient: a Virtual Exhibition by Arthur Burns and Karin Wulf: an exhibition staged in association with the Nov. 5 symposium.

The 18th Century Materializes on Stage: a blog reflecting on how the 18th century was realised in the Nottingham production.

The Madness of George III revisited – Sir Simon Wessely on George’s illness: A link to an article by Simon Wessely offering his perspective as a practising clinician.


And if all this inspires more interest in the remarkable medical papers associated with George III, why not come and join us in transcribing them? Learn more here.


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