As for Roger Howarth's performance as King Philip, the reviews are positive to neutral, seeming to depend on whether the critic liked the play overall. According to nytheather.com, "Roger Howarth is excellent as the young King of France, who arrives in Henry's court with some treacherous plans of his own, one of which is to seduce the bisexual Richard the Lionheart into betraying his father. (This seduction scene, the climax of Act One, is splendidly done.)" Donald Lyons of The New York Post also had a positive opinion of Howarth's performance, "As the French king Philip, Roger Howarth moves convincingly from a boyish clumsiness to a power-hungry maturity more worthy of Henry than any quality in his own sons."
According to the magazine Soaps in Depth, Howarth originally auditioned several times for the role of one of Henry II's sons, Richard the Lionhearted, before they thought of auditioning him for the role of King Philip. "Roger has incredible intensity, and none of us knew he could handle this type of language. He was just wonderful. He completely captured the role in a way that no one else did.", said Amy Christopher, casting director for the Roundabout Theater.
For anyone who lives in or will be visiting the New York City area, The Lion in Winter is playing at the Roundabout Theater - Stage Right for a limited engagement until May 30, 1999. The performances are Tuesday-Saturday at 8PM and Matinees on Wedneday, Saturday and Sunday at 2PM. Tickets are $60. Please call the Roundabout Box Office for more information at (212) 719-1300.