Rakshita (Raks) Patel (rakspatel) wrote in mycroft_brolly,
Rakshita (Raks) Patel

A Tale of Two Richards: Richard III - Shakespeare's Globe 2012 vs Old Vic 2011

mark rylance richard iii
Mark Rylance, Richard III, Shakespeare's Globe, 2012
Photo credit: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/theatre/theatre-reviews/9427021/Mark-Rylance-in-Richard-III-Globe-Theatre-review.html

Cut and pasted from the Globe Website:

Richard III, Shakespeare's Globe

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.

Monstrous, but theatrically electric, Richard is Shakespeare’s most charismatic, self-delighting villain, revelling at every moment in his homicidal, hypocritical journey to absolute power.

An all-male Original Practices production, Richard III will explore clothing, music, dance and settings possible in around 1593.

Mark Rylance returns to the Globe for the first time since his tenure as artistic director between 1995 and 2005 to play Richard.

For full production details and to book tickets, follow the link:

Raks's Reaction

This is going to be a very short and simple review. I was really excited about seeing this as it was Mark Rylance's return to the Globe stage. I adore Mark Rylance, especially when he is playing Shakespeare.

But I was very disappointed with this production. Mark played Richard III for laughs - there was no sense of evil or menace. Mark played Richard III as a comic turn/comedy character - that did not work for me! For Richard III to work in my book, he has to scare you - he should not be a clown/court jester, which is what he felt like too often in this production.

There were things about this production I really liked. I thought the men playing women (this is an all-male cast) were excellent - that aspect of the production really worked for me. The two child actors, playing the Princes in the Tower, were also fabulous, especially the youngest of the two.

But Richard, the key role, on which this play hinges/turns, did not work for me - it was a fail! For that reason, I would not recommend this production. And that is a real shame.

To be fair, the audience at the Globe tonight gave the production a very warm reception, so maybe if you have not seen other versions of Richard III, you would like this version. I didn't!

I think part of the problem for me was that I had seen Kevin Spacey's superlative Richard III at the Old Vic only last year (2011). Richard III should be an evil, two-faced, manipulative bastard and he should scare you. Kevin Spacey did all this and much more! Kevin played it straight, and his Richard III was the perfect embodiment of evil. It was excellent. So I was spoilt, having been lucky enough to see that production only last year (twice as it happens!).

kevin spacey richard iii
Kevin Spacey, Richard III, Old Vic, 2011
Photo credit: http://www.stevementz.com/blog/kevin-spacey-as-richard-iii/
Tags: shakespeare, theatre
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