Richard III

William Shakespeare

Richard III

Richard, Duke of Gloucester, is determined that he should wear the crown of England. He has already despatched one king and that king’s son; now all that stand in his way are two credulous brothers and two helpless nephews – the Princes in the Tower. And woe betide those – the women he wrongs, the henchmen he betrays – who dare to raise a voice against him. 3.6 out of 5 based on 12 reviews
Richard III

Omniscore:

Location London
Venue Shakespeare's Globe
Director Tim Carroll
Cast Mark Rylance, Samuel Barnett, Liam Brennan, Paul Chahidi, Johnny Flynn, James Garnon, Roger Lloyd Pack
From July 2012
Until October 2012
Box Office 020 7401 9919
 

Richard, Duke of Gloucester, is determined that he should wear the crown of England. He has already despatched one king and that king’s son; now all that stand in his way are two credulous brothers and two helpless nephews – the Princes in the Tower. And woe betide those – the women he wrongs, the henchmen he betrays – who dare to raise a voice against him.

Reviews

The Evening Standard

Henry Hitchings

Rylance’s is a protean interpretation, in which we see Richard as a crafty manipulator, an impish schoolboy and an isolated oddball. Sometimes he is darkly brutal, sometimes apologetic and almost reasonable. He switches unnervingly from enigmatic aloofness to lurching passion. What’s missing is an air of real danger. This Richard rarely feels chillingly cruel. Rylance doesn’t bring to the role the disturbed energy of – to choose a recent example – Kevin Spacey. But his final disintegration is skilfully achieved, and he perfectly conveys the character’s use of humour as a weapon.

26/07/2012

Read Full Review


The Daily Express

Simon Edge

Under Tim Carroll’s direction it’s a static production by Globe standards, without any of the sight gags or other physical business the place usually revels in. But the central performance is so enthralling that it’s no less engaging for that.

27/07/2012

Read Full Review


The Guardian

Michael Billington

The only problem with Rylance's slow-burn approach is that it doesn't quite justify the vituperation of the other characters. Even though Tim Carroll's production cuts the mad Queen Margaret who curses Richard as an "elvish-marked, abortive, rooting hog", that still leaves plenty of other people with scores to settle. Richard is a "minister of hell" to Lady Anne, a "tiger" to Queen Elizabeth and a "boar" to the soon-to-be executed Hastings. Rylance's butter-wouldn't-melt-in-his-mouth approach to the role makes Richard's bad publicity a bit hard to explain. But when Rylance does finally unleash his fury, the effect is like a cobra discharging its venom.

26/07/2012

Read Full Review


The Stage

Michael Coveney

Well, what did we expect? No Richard in living memory has been less satanic than Rylance, none so buffoonish or lightly disabled, though the pain of physical discomfiture shows through eventually, as the mask of affability disintegrates. And, boy, those tantrums - only three or four, but the little prince in pink satin who touches his shoulder, and Roger Lloyd Pack’s grouchy old Buckingham, feel the full force of that sudden fury.

26/07/2012

Read Full Review


The Daily Telegraph

Dominic Cavendish

There’s a quiet sadness about Rylance that lends melancholy even to the villain's clowning aspect. This Richard limps badly, has a halting, tremulous delivery, lets loose nervous laughs, roars madly. Here’s no grandstanding Machiavellian grotesque with pronounced hunchback or menacing crutches in the Antony Sher mould but the pitiful runt of the Yorkist litter. The look is more Stan Laurel than Laurence Olivier. A withered left-hand rests fixed across his chest but the deformity is felt most keenly within. This Richard doesn’t try to compensate for his weaknesses, he plays on them to manipulate others - but his self-loathing undoes him when he seizes the crown.

25/07/2012

Read Full Review


Time Out

Andrzej Lukowski

I wonder if some form of autism is being suggested - this Richard is a dazzlingly complicated, troublingly likeable creature. Even to the very end of his bloody campaign, Rylance makes it uncomfortably hard to dismiss this strange man-child as the monster Shakespeare undoubtedly painted him as. Lest we get ahead of ourselves, Tim Carroll's all-male production isn't in the same league as 'Jerusalem', or even as well rounded as the Globe's current 'Henry V' or 'Taming of the Shrew'.

26/07/2012

Read Full Review


The Times

Libby Purves

A Richard has to offer hints of what beyond mere ambition could make a man so casually murderous. Rylance makes the most of the character’s famous levity, but when confronted by his mother becomes, for a moment, almost Kevin the teenager (or perhaps the we-need-to-talk-about-Kevin killer). Here is the awkward, ugly child who never fitted, the amoral teen who in the face of the grieving mother of the murdered Princes can petulantly grumble: “Harp not upon that string!” It is a beautifully manoeuvred hint, leading on to the ghost- ridden nightmare before Bosworth and the four o’clock cry of “There is no creature loves me.” Yet even then he exacts a laugh with: “Is there a murderer here? Yes, I.

26/07/2012

Read Full Review


The Sunday Times

Maxie Szakwinska

We get spasmodic genius from Rylance here, but his utterly unusual take on the role is still a compelling reason to see this production. Rylance doesn’t crank up the monstrousness or take the role by force ... He has a sneaky sense of fun, signaling the audience to keep schtum about his plots with a whispered “shhhh.” It’s foolery and soft-spoken sincerity that make this Richard unstoppable. We quickly understand that he’s an emotional cripple: some vital connection is missing in him. If other people have consciences, all the better to outsmart them with.

05/08/2012

Read Full Review


The Observer

Susannah Clapp

Tim Carroll's "original practices" approach to direction ... features doublet and hose, perfectly drilled musicians playing shawms and sackbuts in the gallery, an almost bare stage and – contentiously – an all-male cast. All this, as the Globe has proved, can supply excitement. Yet here the stately, treble-voiced "women" are fascinating, poised, as delicate as dancers, but too stately and too similar. It is a loss that the wonderfully curse-happy Queen Margaret has been cut out altogether. Roger Lloyd Pack is an effective, insinuating Buckingham, and there are some dark touches from Paul Chahidi and from Peter Hamilton Dyer as Brakenbury and Catesby. The production could do with more of such shadows.

29/07/2012

Read Full Review


The Independent on Sunday

Holly Williams

There is little scheming between Richard and Buckingham, and their dastardly deeds seem merely amusing pastimes. The solution to a problem – "chop off his head" – is exclaimed as casually as by another Carroll's Queen of Hearts; later Rylance tosses about Hastings' decapitated bonce as if it were a turnip. Buckingham's speech "persuading" Richard to accept the crown is full farce, complete with monks' habits and audience participation. Playing it all as madcap escapade makes sense of Richard's most brazen moves. The request for strawberries shortly before decreeing a death is in keeping with Rylance's glib pantomime villain. Carroll has Lady Anne hold Richard's hand even as he announces she is sick and he intends to marry another. This is less chillingly calculating than bloody cheeky.

29/07/2012

Read Full Review


The Financial Times

Ian Shuttleworth

The Globe crowd, always keen to join in given a particle of opportunity, roar their approval of Richard’s stage-managed bid for the crown in Act 3, making a nonsense of Shakespeare’s account that it has scant popular support. In the final phase, when the now enthroned Richard seems to run out of jokes, the audience is not prepared to accept and match the growing earnestness onstage.

27/07/2012

Read Full Review


The Daily Mail

Quentin Letts

The show lacks pace and excitement. It is not helped by the decision to cast men in all the women’s roles. Thus, James Garnon plays Richard’s elderly mother, the Duchess of York. He turns her into an absurd old bat with a David Starkey frown. The Duchess can be a moving role – the horror of any murderer’s mother to have spawned such evil. Instead we have this cartooned hag. The play is denied a measure of humanity.

26/07/2012

Read Full Review


©2013 The Omnivore