Royal video nasties

TR
24th February 1995 at 00:00
RICHARD III Derby Playhouse

Missed the latest Tarantino blood-flood? Try Shakespeare's snuff-movie. Russell Dixon's Gloucester not only reflects on his woo-and-win skills, he collects his victims' grisly deaths on video. And, as each descends below stage, cameras follow to screen their drowning, hanging and disembowelling. Dixon has created many of Ayckbourn's comic monsters so it's no surprise to find lugubrious humour in his part-Quasimodo, part Hannibal Lecter Crookback, nor the psychotic danger in his whispered confidentiality of his opening speech.

Director Mark Clements overdoes the pointing-up of humour but there's a lot to appreciate. It's a pity the long first act was not extended to put Richard's conning of the Londoners before the interval - Dixon's triumphant punching the air would be a superb end and it contrasts with the final moment when Richard, ascending steep steps in a massive robe, is crowned and - sits silent. The play is not about reigning; Richard no sooner climbs than falls and the aching pause reveals the vacuum within him, to be filled by fears.

In a modern-dress production where Edward IV's death is discussed in a bus queue, Kim Wall's Buckingham is fine as a suited PR front-man. Before Bosworth, Richard channel-hops his TV where he finds himself as Laughton's Hunchback and Hopkins' Hannibal, until black and white ghosts invade the screen. His final plea for a horse is the desperation of someone who knows there's no hope of a jeep.

Runs 3 hours 35 minutes. To March 11. Tickets: 01332 363275.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now