10 September 2011

Richard III at the Old Vic

Richard III has got a lot of attention thanks to the combination of Kevin Spacey and Sam Mendes so I jumped at the opportunity to go provided by the theatre club at work.

The impact is immediate.

Kevin Spacey stands in the middle of an almost bare set and thunders in to "Now is the winter of our discontent ". And the next three hours continues in a similar vein.

Kevin Spacey is simply magnificent and dominates the large stage with his diction, movement and small gestures.

The leg brace and badly angled foot confirm his deformity while the raised eyebrows and little smirks to the audience confirm his malevolence. We can see his evil clearly while those around him are often blinded to it by his clever words.

The staging is appropriately brutal too (an awful lot of people die in this story). The main set remains the stark row of doors on either side with just a few props added when necessary.

The dress is modern in the style of South American Dictator. Brutal clothes for brutal times.

The story unfolds unrelentingly as the foul deeds and resultant bodies pile up. Each death is marked with a red cross on one of the doors. More doors have to be added during the interval.

The heralded combination of Kevin Spacey and Sam Mendes delivered exhilarating and exceptional theatre. 

The sweat on Spacey's faceat the end is a testament to the effort put in to the role and the long standing ovation was the much deserved reward. This was stunning theatre at its very best.

1 comment:

  1. Oh looks great - thanks for the review Matthew. I'm off to book myself a seat.


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