And no, this doesn’t have anything to do with that £350m to the NHS: it’s Shakespeare’s Richard III, a play which turned the protagonist in to everyone’s least favourite hunchback. From the minute he walks on to the stage, Richard self-consciously announces his villainy and proceeds to shock and fascinate us in equal measures with his wicked deeds. The play completes the War of the Roses cycle (the Globe is also putting on Henry VI the same season if you want to brush up) and is as full of jealousy, lies and flat out murder as we have come to expect from this early phase of Shakespeare’s career.
The autumn season at the Globe aims to showcase ‘shrews and she-wolves’, of which there are plenty in this dark and brutal play. Margaret of Anjou, the original she-wolf, has become a witchy spectre cursing everyone who crosses her path while Queen Elizabeth spins her own plots to rival Richard’s own. Of course, it all comes crashing down around Richard’s ears, just in time for Henry VII to swoop in and save the day, but his moments of humour, charm and metatheatrical sophistication save Richard from ever achieving the fate of a caricature.
If the latest season of Game of Thrones left you distinctly unsatisfied, Shakespeare’s psychologically complex, bloody and flawlessly dramatic treatment of the medieval feuding dynasties of Lancaster and York might just be what you’re looking for. After all, the similarities are no coincidence- see here for a Ted Talk explaining the inspiration behind Game of Thrones.
Tickets for Richard III at Sam Wanamaker Playhouse go on sale from 10am on Monday 22 July.
|What||Richard III, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse|
|Where||Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, 21 New Globe Walk, London, SE1 9DT | MAP|
|Nearest tube||London Bridge (underground)|
13 Nov 19 – 26 Jan 20, 7:30 AM – 10:00 AM
|Price||£10, seated from £20.|
|Website||Click here for more information|