Richard III At the Alexandra Palace Theatre
As the first play at Alexandra Palace for 80 years, there’s a lot of pressure on John Haidar’s Richard III. Luckily, the famous tragedy is far from tragic. The triumphant show heralds a triumphant return to theatre for the iconic venue.
Shakespeare’s drama charts the story of the villainous would-be king of England as he devises a plot of treachery and deceit in order to claim the crown. In the midst of the War of the Roses, the House of York has seized victory and Richard’s brother, Edward IV, sits on the throne believing once and for all that the country is finally united. But death and chaos soon follow.
There’s a bit of a modern twist to this version of the play, in so much as the characters are dressed in modern clothing. It’s just a small change, but it gives the show a slick feel and brings the story a little closer to home.
Tom Mothersdale will completely ruin the role of Richard for anyone who sees this show, for his performance is so iconic that any future iterations could not possibly hope to live up to it. He is twisted, creeping through each scene, taking enjoyment in misery and evil deception. Of course, the actor is lucky to be delivering some of Shakespeare’s most brilliant words, but it’s just as much the acting between the lines that makes his portrayal so unforgettable.
Matching Mothersdale’s frame of mind, the beautifully dark and misty staging immediately sets the tone of the production and keeps the audience on edge as he stalks the stage. The use of lighting and mirrors provides a potent source of energy for this tragic tale.
Haidar has created a masterful welcome back to theatre for Alexandra Palace. This is a heart-stopping Richard III with a leading man to match, absolutely recommended to all.
Photos: Marc Brenner
Richard III At the Alexandra Palace Theatre is at from 13th March until 31st March 2019. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.