One of my all-time favourite plays, Shakespeare’s Richard III, will be opening at Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival this Saturday night at Vanier Park.
Directed by Kathryn Shaw, Richard III completes a two-play lineup (the first being Henry VI: The War of the Roses–an amalgamation of Henry VI part 1,2, and 3) in the 240-seat Douglas Campbell Studio Stage tent and is the closing chapter in the epic struggle between the houses of York and Lancaster for the English throne.
Physically deformed and sinister Richard (Bob Frazer), Duke of Gloucester, murders and manipulates his way to the throne, while both confiding and tricking the audience along the way. Now, Richard is probably one of the most challenging Shakespearian characters to master for an actor because not only does he have to be intensely unlikeable but also the audience must feel sympathetic toward him, especially near the end of the play. But from what I saw of Frazer’s work with Richard in Henry VI: The War of the Roses (yes, the same actors perform in Richard III), I’m sure he will handle it spectacularly (I loved his performance as Bif in Death of a Salesman earlier in the year—for which he just won Outstanding Supporting Actor at the Jessie Awards).
To prepare yourself for this epic play either see Henry VI: The War of the Roses, which plays in repertory with Richard III, read the play, and/or watch one of my favourite documentaries, Looking for Richard, about Al Pacino’s fascination with Shakespeare, the play and character of Richard. Richard III runs until September 23, 2011 at Vanier Park.
This feature was written exclusively for Miss604 by actor, writer, and producer, Michelle Kim. Read all posts contributed by Michelle for Miss604.com and follow her on Twitter @miju.
Reminder: Enter to win the “Bard-B-Q” experience. Tickets to As You Like It on the main stage, a salmon barbecue picnic, and reserved seating for the Celebration of Light Fireworks.