Richard III’s name hit the headlines several years ago when his skeletal remains were found beneath a Leicester car park. But history tells us that even before his remains were ignominiously discovered in 2012, Richard endured more than his fair share of humiliation. William Shakespeare’s history play depicts Richard’s Machiavellian rise to power and his subsequent short reign as King.
Now in a fearless, potent and revelatory reimagining by Headlong -playing at HOME Manchester -Tom Mothersdale takes the role of Shakespeare’s most iconic villain, Richard III.
“that bottled spider… that poisonous bunchback’d toad” (Act 1, Scene 3)
Following decades of civil war, a nation’s future looks desperately volatile. Enter Richard, the Duke of Gloucester, who is determined to gain the crown of England from his brother, King Edward IV. Richard was not preordained to become king but he has set all sights on the crown. And so begins his brutal offensive of manipulation, bloodshed and deceit. Yet behind his ambition lies a deadly longing for love.
Haidar has cleverly reworked Shakespeare’s original text to include even more bloodshed.
John Haidar, director and associate artist of Headlong, has cleverly reworked Shakespeare’s original text to include even more bloodshed. Like there wasn’t enough already. This is super stylish staging with each merciless murder reflected numerous times in Chiara Stephenson’s set of rotating mirrors.
Recommended for ages 12 and over, we declare Headlong’s Richard III a must-see. The production has garnered superb reviews across the board so far, with Mothersdale giving a stellar performance – managing to balance both the ‘diabolical and endearing’ sides of the Shakespearian baddie.
Headlong’s Richard III promises to be a bold, risk-taking translation of Shakespeare’s original text. And perhaps the world of Richard III strangely resonates with our own international climate – a time of substantial political disruption. Maybe there is no better time to shine a light on a corrupt world where political leaders rise to power through a web of manipulation and duplicity?
A timely and thoughtful production.
Following the performance on 1 May there will be a post-show Q&A with the cast and creatives.