About Me

I ramble about a number of things - but travel experiences, movies and music feature prominently. See my label cloud for a better idea. All comnments and opinions on this blog are my own, and do not in any way reflect the opinions/position of my employer (past/current/future).

10 April 2011

The Tragedy of Richard III

I have seen two types of Shakespeare productions - lavish productions with huge casts and complicated sets; and the minimalist, working with the bare minimum. In the case of the latter, these productions are usually abridged to highlight the critical scenes or perhaps just to highlight a single particular character or scene.

Until the 24th of April, the Market Theatre, in conjunction with the National Arts Festival is showing a minimalist production of Richard III. While I am no Shakespeare expert, a quick glance at the Wikipedia page shows that, while the production is abridged; the core play is unaffected, and in fact the story itself did not feel abridged.

It is a 3 man play, featuring David Dennis, Marcel Meyer (as Richard III) and Anelisa Phewa. Each man plays a number of characters, and the use of costumes (with some highly stylised masks) and puppets for the young princes are brilliant touches. The set, while minimal, has an amazing centrepiece - a cupboard where Richard's various victims' busts are stowed, which then return in the final act to haunt Richard before his final battle.

The acting is superb, especially that of Marcel Meyer, who plays the twisted character of Richard III exceptionally well, and has the stage presence fit for the role. The sound effects, mood music as well as the lighting also complements the play very well, and makes it a really well polished production.

It is argued that Richard III has been mistreated by Shakespeare, and he was not an evil tyrant as portrayed in the play. Regardless, the play is a topical reminder of the power and abuses of tyrannical dictators; including some of the motivations behind the supporters of such dictators.

No comments: