Richard III

Richard III, RSC, The Globe, Richard III was played by Mark Rylance.

The play began with 4 musicians in Shakespearean dress playing Greensleeves. After playing for what felt like an hour they then exited the stage leaving a sense of anticipation in the air. Then on came Richard himself. Having only watched the Olivier and the Ian McClellan versions of the play beforehand I was expecting a classic misshapen evil-guy entering the stage. What I was instead confronted with was a funny bumbling jovial man. I never thought when reading the famous ‘Now is the winter of our discontent…’ speech could actually be a piece of comedic genius. However, only 5 minutes into the speech, the entire audience was in stitches. Although Rylance’s acting was not amazing he played the part well and by the end of scene one it seemed like his sinister plot to kill Clarence was just a prank he wanted to pull on his brother. Things changed though when Richard finally managed to get the crown on his head. As soon as he became king the entire play became more dark and sinister. Personally I thought this was a good touch to show the burdens of power. Richard could no longer afford to be witty and mischievousness. The penultimate scene with the ghosts made more sense when Richard was portrayed as a prankster because it made him seem more like a man out of his depth and scared than the scheming evil genius of other versions of the play.


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