Richard III – Bournemouth Shakespeare Players, Priory House Garden, Christchurch – review
| Posted: July 25, 2014 blackmorevale.co.uk
He may not look quite like the usual depiction of the royal baddie – with hump, chin length straggly hair and saturnine gaze – but Denis Carlton’s performance is much more subtle.
Within the first few minutes, the audience know they are in for a chilling portrayal of Richard Duke of Gloucester, who would go on to kill so many of his rivals to the throne.
Rehearsals began in February, so it was so sad for Kevin to miss so many of the performances as he had an accident before the run began, and spent 12 days in Odstock Hospital.
However, he was back on Thursday evening, and although unable to take the part of Lord Hastings – Paul Marcus stepped into his shoes – was able to see the fruit of his labour.
The Players have been staging Shakespeare productions since 1979, but this is the first time they have tackled Richard III, after Hamlet, the second longest play.
Kevin had managed to make cuts, which work well, making the action fast paced.
If Richard was evil personified then Jeremy Mills as the Duke of Buckingham runs a close second, with his sneering and scheming.
Jenny Hughes, embodies Queen Margaret, the bitter widow of Henry VI and Polly Ashness, adopts just the right measure of bleakness and sadness as the wife of Edward IV who loses her sons.
The role of Lady Anne, – who was married to Edward IV and goes on to be Queen to Richard III – gives Kerry Jackman the chance to garner huge waves of emotion to portray the widow who is persuaded to marry this King with no conscience.
There were no weak links in this royal saga – and there are too many cast members to mention them all. Particularly poignant is the scene when the ghosts of the people Richard has murdered appear to him in a dream.
From ‘Now is the winter….’ to ‘my kingdom for a horse’ this production is accomplished and would entertain even those who feel ‘Shakespeare isn’t really their thing’.
There is a performance this evening and tomorrow. One word of warning – take some insect spray.