Richard III, everything theatre

“Upon entering the theatre, a castle wall that looked like painted cardboard greeted me, and my heart sank. The set had the look of a budget Shakespeare production interpreted by enthusiastic amateurs, or something at home in a school hall…Fortunately, the set was an insignificant backdrop to some marvelous performances…

“The theatre company Custom/Practice claimed this production was a response to the upcoming re-internment of Richard’s remains. Expecting something current, I was confused by the mostly medieval costumes and traditional staging. The costumes, like the set, were redolent of a school or college production because of their inconsistencies…

“Director Rae Mcken made some excellent casting choices…Ousellam’s performance suggests that Richard charmingly murdered his way to the throne. His stage presence is magnetic and his verse handling flawless…Imogen Slaughter, as Elizabeth, is fantastic in her fight against Richard and eventual consent of his marriage to her daughter…Some of the characters could have used more development, such as Rebecca Loudon’s Lady Anne and Mott’s doubling as Richmond.

“Although nearly three hours with an interval, and despite the uncomfortable bleacher-style seating at The Cockpit, the production’s pace and energy ensured it did not feel that long…Mcken certainly has good ideas, but some could use refining…

“If a solid, well-acted Shakespeare is something you enjoy, this certainly hits the spot, as long as you overlook the design.”

Intention: ☆☆☆☆

Outcome: ☆☆

Star Rating: ☆☆☆

Read the entire review here on everything theatre.