Tag Archives: Richard III

Review of Richard III – 3 Stars


Richard III

The Cockpit Theatre

Reviewed – 18th October 2017



“the real stand out performances lie with the females in this play”


Richard III is one of Shakespeare’s longest plays. This fact does not hold back Front Foot Theatre’s production of the classic text. From the beginning it’s easy to follow and captivating.

All of the acting in this production is strong with a few performers being quite exceptional. Kim Hardy portrays Richard as a subtly menacing villain. His physicality of Richard’s deformity is visible but doesn’t ever border on being too much. The Duke of Buckingham, played by Guy Faith, acts wonderfully as his sinister right hand man. However, the real stand out performances lie with the females in this play, particularly Helen Rose Hampton as Queen Elizabeth and Fiona Tong as the Duchess of York. The strength of their characters easily shines through even when placed in terrible situations.

The use of space in this adaption is extremely clever. We’re brought closer in to the action by a thrust staging and the unused seating bank is utilised as a piece of set (designed by Amanda Mascarenhas) throughout the play. The balcony above the stage is used for numerous scenes. However, using the section directly above a large portion of the audience led to most being unable to watch the action and quickly becoming disengaged. Lighting (Kiaran Kesby) adds a lot to the space: uplighting the actors gives them a sinister glow and dark spaces allow characters to lurk in shadows.

One of the cleverest parts of this production is the use of puppets (made by Jenny Dee) to portray the infamous Princes in the Tower. These work well due to the actors both operating and voicing them. It would have been easy for this to come across as silly, but they manage to avoid that completely.

Throughout the play the setting remained confused; it was a little too muddled between modern and historical. All of the battles were fought with swords and shields yet someone listens to a radio and another pins up photographs. It’s quite jarring. Although from an aesthetical perspective the monochromatic theme of the piece with only small splashes of colour is effective.

Directed by Lawrence Carmichael, this is a strong production. For the majority of the time it’s extremely engaging which is a major achievement considering its length. With Shakespeare it’s easy to get too carried away and caught up in things but this adaption remains grounded and easily understandable.


Reviewed by Katie Douglas

Photography by David Monteith-Hodge




is at The Cockpit Theatre until 4th November



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Review of Richard III – 4 Stars

Richard III spyinthestalls

Richard III

Temple Church

Reviewed – 24th August 2017





“a brilliantly atmospheric and taut drama”


In Antic Disposition’s production of Shakespeare’s Richard III, in which the villainous monarch-on-the-make plots and murders his way to the crown, London’s Temple Church lends an added imposing majesty to the heady drama.

Richard III spyinthestalls

Although, maybe not so villainous. Toby Manley’s Richard, described by Shakespeare as a “bottled spider,” is depicted as far more chirpy than despicable in the first half, and this despite the fact that most of the scenes move too fast for many of his jokes to land. Nevertheless, the acting is excellent across the board, especially Bryony Tebbutt in her three roles as Lady Anne, the Duke of York and the Murderer, and the mood soon darkens in a thrilling second half.Richard III spyinthestalls

The staging is also well done. Light is used in brilliantly creative ways: a shadow will fall upon the audience when a character (usually, and aptly, Richard) appears on the opposite end of the stage from where our attention is directed. Characters off-stage pace around the back of the seats. The pared back use of sound effectively invokes the dread and terror of the court and the battlefield.

Richard III spyinthestalls

All of this culminates in a brilliantly atmospheric and taut drama. That it could have used a tad more pace in the first half does not detract from the excellent and gripping denouement.


Reviewed by Alice Gray

Photography by Scott Rylander




is at Temple Church until 9th September



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