The Iron Stag King
If “Game of Thrones” took the Arthurian high fantasy genre and dragged it off its clean white pedestal down into the muck, then The House Theatre’s “Hammer Trinity” is the thing that seizes it by the scruff of its neck and hauls it across the seas to American soil. The nine-hour, seven-act trilogy of plays is just as indebted to the legacy of America’s founding mythos—common folk bellowing for freedom, cracked bells, western outlaws, steel-hearted robber barons and endlessly rejustified genocides—as it is to the legends of Arthur and Merlin. It is also nothing short of stunning.
Written by Chris Mathews and Nathan Allen (who also directs), “The Hammer Trinity” tells of a land called New Plymouth—a place ruled by narratives. Instead of wizards there are storytellers, ancient beings who conjure tales about who is good and bad, right and wrong, who should rule and who should be ruled.
“The Iron Stag King,” the first play in the trilogy, opens with the tale of young Casper Kent (Kevin Stangler), a simple orphan who is (of course!) anything but. He learns from storyteller Hap The Golden (William Dick) that he must quest to find the magical Hammer of his ancestors and unite a splintered land. Hot on his heels are the forces of the Crownless, led by the vicious fop Henley Hawthorne (Joey Steakley) hellbent on snuffing out Casper’s royal line for good. Read the rest of this entry »