The King is Dead! The King is Dead! is a world premier musical play by Hal Holbrook and directed by Carmen Dowell. The king from last season’s show "The King Who Wanted a Whale" returns with a cast of zany royal subjects. Did the king actually get a whale? Well, yes and no. He settled for a boat made to look like a whale. Our story finds the King and Messenger Boy sailing out on the moat when a storm comes up. The whaleboat hits the dock and starts taking on water. Do the King and Messenger Boy survive?