In my quest to become a cultured young lady I decided to branch out and make 2017 my year of the plays and it is going rather swimmingly so far I must say. Front Foot Theatre recently invited me to see their production of Richard III and if you ask me, nothing screams ‘cultured young lady’ quite like Shakespeare, so I was very keen.
Richard III is a tale of greed, jealousy and betrayal. The story focuses on the devious and twisted antagonist Richard Duke of Gloucester, and his hell-bent quest to take the crown. The rise and fall of the infamous king is intricately told through this unchanged and timeless play.
I thought I might struggle to follow the story with being somewhat of a Shakespeare novice but thankfully, whilst some minor points flew straight over my head, I did follow the plot quite easily. I found myself completely engrossed in some scenes and some were surprisingly quite hilarious. The slick contrast between comedy and conflict achieved throughout the production was particularly impressive, with the audience being tossed between light-hearted slapstick and cold-blooded killings with a skilful ease.
The production fit perfectly into this small, unique theatre. Live fight scenes happened only a stones throw in front of you making it hard not to become completely immersed. The intimacy of the setting was further accentuated with apt lighting design by Kiaran Kesey and moody music, which together gave some scenes a particularly sinister feel.
The infamous Richard III was played by Kim Hardy who embodied the character with impressive conviction. He exuded a charismatic yet menacingly deceitful aura whilst maintaining even the smallest details in displaying his characters deformities. Such raw talent is a joy to watch. The rest of the company was spectacularly talented and united flawlessly to produce an honest and enthralling piece.
All in all, this production of Richard III was highly impressive and made for a very enjoyable evening. Thanks to director Lawrence Carmichael, the setting, design and exceedingly good acting came together seamlessly to produce a truly stunning representation of a much loved story. It is basic but very well done. I highly recommend this production and the fabulous Front Foot Theatre company for an excellent evening of theatre.
You can see Richard III at The Cockpit Theatre until 4th November 2017! For more information and to book tickets, head to the Front Foot Theatre Website.
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*Production Images by David Monteith-Hodge