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6 reasons why you should see the groundbreaking production of Richard III at the Playhouse Theatre

1 year ago


Seeing Shakespeare performed on stage is the best way to really bring it to life and make you think more about the characters and stories.

That’s definitely true of the new production of Richard III currently at the Playhouse Theatre which has been giving audiences plenty to talk about.

It’s on until Saturday April 22 and whether you’re a big lover of Shakespeare or not, it s a fascinating reimagining of the original which gives it added relevance to today so it’s a must-go.

Here are 6 reasons why you should see a groundbreaking Richard III at the Playhouse this week …

The show stars and is directed by Bridgerton’s Adjoa Andoh

Playhouse Theatre

Fans of Netflix’s huge hit series Bridgerton will probably know Adjoa Andoh best as Lady Danbury in the Regency high society romance. But she’s also one of Britain’s most respected theatre actors having taken lead roles with the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre, and London’s Royal Court Theatre and Almeida Theatre. If you thought Lady Danbury was a powerful force to be reckoned with, wait until you see her as Shakespeare’s iconic anti-hero, the villainous, ruthlessly manipulative Richard III. 

It’s a Shakespeare classic…

Richard III - Playhouse Theatre

Richard III is one of Shakespeare’s best-known plays, telling the tale of the royal outsider – outcast for his disability – whose sense of injustice and ambition drives him to scheme and murder his way to the throne by seeing off everyone who stands in his way. It’s bloodthirsty, dramatic stuff but there’s some dark humour in there too, and it has one of those Shakespeare lines everyone remembers (even if it’s just from school English lit lessons): “Now is the winter of our discontent …”

But with a twist!

Richard III - Playhouse Theatre

In fact not just one twist but several. In place of the traditional male lead, this adaptation has Richard III played by a woman, Adjoa, and instead of a physical disability setting the would-be king apart from everyone around him, it’s race that is the cause of his isolation and ‘otherness’. Richard is re-imagined as the only black person in his village, just like Adjoa was when she was growing up in the Cotswolds in the 60s and 70s, which puts a fresh take on his fight to be accepted.

It features an original score

Adjoa isn’t the only member of the Andoh family to be at the centre of this production – her brother Yeofi has created a musical score which gives a folky feel to the play and allows some of the text to be sung rather than spoken.

Movement in the piece is directed by Bridgerton’s own choreographer 

Because it’s set in rural Cotswolds, this Richard III has Morris dancing and May Day parades to match from top TV, theatre and film choreographer Jack Murphy, who was also the man behind the choreography for those romantically-charged dance scenes we all loved on Bridgerton.

It’s on in the iconic Playhouse Theatre

This Richard III has some outstanding performances, especially from Adjoa who not only re-invents Shakespeare’s work but delivers it in a way that means you don’t want to take your eyes off her for a moment. The atmospherically-lit set with its central tree trunk is striking and, of course, it’s at the Playhouse which provides the perfect stage so audiences get to feel part of all the action.

Book your tickets to see Richard III at the Playhouse Theatre here.



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