Our top 10 favourite Kings

With tickets for the Royal Shakespeare Company’s productions of Henry IV Parts I & II at the Barbican going on sale today, we decided to come up with our 10 favourite kings – to celebrate.

BB King

10. BB King – is in at number 10 – a miraculous blues guitarist who, crucially, sang Stand By Me. A song that will get bodies swaying at staff parties across Britain for many centuries to come.

David Tennant as Richard II in Richard II  Photo by Kwame Lestrade

9. King Richard II, another of Will Shakespeare’s histories.  The RSC put on a production of the play where the king was played by the glorious scot David Tennant, also at The Barbican.

Elvis Presley

8. The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll – Elvis Presley.  In the words of Shakira, his hips don’t lie and neither do his dulcet tones.  Never under estimate the good times that can be had when you lock into the playlist from this particular dreamboat, who can not only get the party started (Jailhouse Rock anyone?) but can also musically turn down the lights (Love Me Tender).

King Kong

7. King Kong – a giant beast, capable of inter species love, comes to western civilisation to be struck down by a handful of… firemen. Or there abouts. We say ‘who comes up with this stuff, it’s genius!’

stephen king

6. Stephen King.  If you’ve not been scared out your wits from his books, they you will have by his films.  King tucks into our deepest fears with great success, bravo!

King Tuts

5. King Tut’s – is a fantastic music venue in the heart of Glasgow. They put on great bands from titans like Paulo Nutini to newbies like Howler and Dan Croll. It’s a good bet for a decent gig.


4. King Canute, was a total badass who ruled over Denmark, England, Norway and parts of Sweden protecting lands from Vikings – yes, Vikings, he scared those guys, at least a little.


King Henry VIII – now, not exactly a ‘favourite’ king, but blimey has he made some serious history. The man had 6 wives and as the rhyme goes – Divorced, beheaded, died; divorced, beheaded, survived. He invented divorce because he wanted a new wife, and changed his religion and the religion of the whole country in order to do so. It’s little wonder he is the subject of some thrilling plays including Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies, performed by the RSC at the Aldwych.

Martin Luther King

2. Martin Luther King – “I have a dream…” hats off to the man who led real change for equality and inspired a generation to stand up for themselves.


1. Henry IV of course! From the creative team that brought you the acclaimed production of Richard II, the RSC continue their exploration of Shakespeare’s History plays with this an epic, comic and thrilling vision of a nation in turmoil. Buy tickets now.