Richard the III is a woman at the Globe Theatre

London – The current production of “Richard III” at Shakespeare’s Globe, directed by Elle While, offers a fresh and dynamic take on Shakespeare’s iconic play. This production features an exceptional ensemble cast led by Michelle Terry as Richard, Duke of Gloucester. Terry, also the Globe’s artistic director, delivers a compelling and multifaceted performance that captures Richard’s manipulative charm and malevolent ambition.

The cast includes Catrin Aaron as Hastings/Tyrell, Rosalind Blessed in multiple roles including the Executioner, Hayley Carmichael as the Duchess of York, and Sam Crerar playing dual roles as Richmond and Catesby. The youthful characters of Prince Edward and Young Richard are portrayed by Isabelle Chiara Dawodu, Holly-Jade Roberts, and Poppy Setrem, adding layers of innocence and vulnerability to the play’s darker themes. Helen Schlesinger’s Buckingham stands out for her nuanced portrayal of Richard’s cunning ally, and Katie Erich as Lady Anne delivers a particularly moving performance, blending spoken English and British Sign Language (BSL) to enhance the emotional depth of her character.

The production’s design by E. Mallin Parry is minimalist yet effective, focusing on the actors’ performances rather than elaborate sets. This approach creates an intimate atmosphere that draws the audience closer to the unfolding drama. James Maloney’s composition complements the action on stage, adding a haunting musical backdrop that underscores the play’s tension and pathos. Associate Director Indiana Lown-Collins brings a fresh perspective, contributing to the production’s modern and engaging interpretation.

Catrin Aaron’s extensive experience, including roles in “Hamlet” and “As You Like It” at the Globe, brings depth to her portrayal of Hastings/Tyrell. Rosalind Blessed, known for her work with the Guildford Shakespeare Company, adds a versatile energy to her multiple roles. Hayley Carmichael’s extensive theatre background, including work with the National Theatre and Complicité, enriches her portrayal of the Duchess of York. Sam Crerar, a recent LAMDA graduate, continues to impress with his dual roles, following his notable performance in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

Katie Erich’s use of BSL in her performance as Lady Anne is particularly noteworthy, adding a unique and poignant dimension to her interactions on stage. Her previous work includes notable roles in “Julius Caesar” with the Royal Shakespeare Company and “Oliver Twist” at Leeds Playhouse.

The production has been met with positive reviews for its innovative casting choices and the powerful performances of its ensemble. The decision to cast Michelle Terry, an able-bodied actor, as Richard III has sparked discussions about representation and the portrayal of disability in theatre. Terry acknowledges the significance of this role and emphasizes the importance of future opportunities for disabled actors.

Overall, “Richard III” at Shakespeare’s Globe is a thought-provoking and engaging production that brings new insights to Shakespeare’s work. It combines strong performances, innovative direction, and a minimalist design to create a compelling theatrical experience. The production runs until August 3, 2024, inviting audiences to witness a unique and dynamic interpretation of this classic play.

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Francesca Lombardo is a freelance journalist. She holds a Master's degree in journalism from the LCC of London and her articles has been published by the Financial Times, Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, Sunday Times, Sunday Telegraph, The Herald, Sunday Express, Daily Express, Irish Independent, The Sunday Business Post, A Place in the Sun, Ryanair Magazine, Easyjet Magazine, CNBC magazine, Voyager magazine, Portugal Magazine, Travel Trade Gazette, House Hunter in the sun, Homes Worldwide and to Italian outlets, Repubblica, D Repubblica, L'Espresso, Il Venerdì, Vogue, Vogue Uomo, Vogue Casa, GQ, Il Sole 24 Ore, F Magazine, TU Style, La Stampa, "A", Gioia. Francesca Lombardo has trained at the business desks of the Sunday Times, Daily Mail and Daily Express. She has authored a children's book series titled Beatrice and the London Bus. website:

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