At 10.40am this morning, The University of Leicester confirmed that they have found the bones of the last Plantagenet king of England, Richard III. Richard III was the last king of England to die on a battlefield in England and the first since King Harold II at the Battle of Hastings in 1066.
New production of Richard III
Today we are delighted to confirm that we will be staging our own production of Shakespeare’s Richard III in partnership with York Theatre Royal. Richard III is one of the great roles in theatre and has been tackled by many celebrated classical actors. Playing the role in this production will be Ian Bartholomew, following his critically acclaimed performance as Arturo Ui here in autumn 2011.
Giles Croft, Artistic Director of Nottingham Playhouse explains how the production has come about:
After his superb performance as Brecht’s Arturo Ui, Ian said how much he would like to tackle one of the plays that inspired Brecht’s gripping morality tale, Richard III. With such a powerful actor in the title role we were immediately attracted to the idea and confirmed the talented Loveday Ingram as director. Our audience, having enjoyed Ian’s performance as Ui will be fascinated by the many parallels between the two plays, and the chance to compare and contrast the ways two great dramatists depict the corrupting influences of power and personality.
Bertolt Brecht took his inspiration from Richard III when writing The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui and now Ian is relishing the thought of playing another legendary villain and one of the greatest and most thrilling of Shakespeare’s roles:
The discovery of the bones of Richard III has made the prospect of playing the Machiavellian king even more exciting as the discovery will mean that the public are more aware of his life now than ever. Richard III is an irresistible challenge to any actor as he was such a fascinating character with his combination of ambition, cruelty and anger and sheer twisted sense of humour. I am thrilled to be returning to Nottingham Playhouse after the success of The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui in autumn 2011. The expertise of all involved I’m sure will deliver a production that will be remembered for years to come.
The 2013 production of Richard III follows a fascinating precedent as Leonard Rossiter played the part of Arturo Ui at Nottingham Playhouse in 1969 and then followed two years later with his portrayal of Richard III.
Tickets available now
This new production of Richard III, directed by Loveday Ingram, will play at Nottingham Playhouse 25 October – 16 November before transferring to York Theatre Royal.
Photo: Portrait of Ian Bartholomew by Graham Flack