Richard III (2007): Southwark Playhouse, London, Tangram Theatre
PrRichard III (2007)
CAST INCLUDED: Jotham Annan (Buckingham); John Lightbody (Richard III); Valerie O'Connor (Lady Anne); Clara Onyemere (Queen Elizabeth); Sion Tudor Owen (Hastings).
This production ran from 27 September - 20 October 2007. Production information from Theatre Record and reviews; may be incomplete.
"...directors Daniel Goldman and Donnacadh O'Briain have incorporated so many cliches of stagings of the Scottish Play - military uniforms, an ambiance of half-day/half-night gloom, supernatural-seeming shards of sound, incantatory chants and whispers - that you begin to wonder in places whether they haven't also conflated the texts...The text cuts mean the play proceeds at a nice clip and ends early - both good things. But it's a strategy with significant deficits, too: most characters, excepting the titular one, are reduced to ciphers and with all the doubling it's sometimes hard to work out who's supposed to be who." ~ Robert Shore, Time Out London, 3 October 2007, in Theatre Record 2007, Issue 20
"In the atmospheric vaults under London Bridge station - the new temporary location for Southwark Playhouse - the company performs the play in traverse, with the audience seated either side of a narrow wooden stage....A small cast revolves roles and deploys tiny puppets to illustrate the gruesome effects of Richard's tactics. Puppet death follows upon puppet death. This is particularly effective in suggesting the vulnerability of the young princes and also emphasises the degree to which Richard manipulates the other characters to his will. Use of percussion adds to the sense of urgency. It's Richard's phenomenal energy that comes across here and John Lightbody emphasises the villain's glee at the prospect of a world that he can 'bustle' in....[The production's] speed means it is too much at one pitch, so we lose emotional subtleties and even lines of text. An exception to this is Jotham Annan, admirably lucid and still as both Buckingham and Richmond. There is fine work, too, from Valerie O'Connor as Anne and Clara Onyemere as Elizabeth. Aicha Kossoko handles well the difficult role of mad Margaret." ~ Sarah Hemming, Financial Times, 3 October 2007, in Theatre Record 2007, Issue 20