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Vermaak | Entertainment > Teater | Theatre > Kennisgewings | Notices

The Tragedy of Richard lll for the Market Theatre


Untitled Document

The Tragedy of Richard lll
Barney Simon, Market Theatre
15 March to 24 April: 20h15
Tickets: R60 to R130 via
Bookings: Computicket

Presented by Abrahamse Meyer Productions in association with the National Arts Festival and the Market Theatre

After its critically acclaimed seasons at the National Arts Festival and the Artscape Arena in Cape Town, The Tragedy of Richard III comes to the Market Theatre from 15 March to 24 April, 2011.

The Tragedy of Richard III by William Shakespeare is directed by Fred Abrahamse and stars top South African actors in multiple roles. David Dennis plays The Duke of Buckingham / The Duchess of York / Queen Margaret / Edward IV and Lady Anne amongst others, Marcel Meyer is Richard lll, and Anelisa Phewa plays The Earl of Richmond / Queen Elizabeth and Lord Hastings. The production is played as a fast-paced political thriller utilizing the protean talents of this small company of three actors aided by inventive and striking design concepts, with masks created by Izelle Grobler and the puppets by Hillette Stapelberg. The production drew praise from theatregoers and critics who described it as ingenious, brilliant and mesmerizing when it premièred at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown last year. Ismail Mahomed, Director of the National Arts Festival, rated Richard III as the most inventive production he saw in 2010. It was also one of the highlights at the South African Schools Festival receiving an overwhelming response from both learners and teachers.
Both David Dennis and Marcel Meyer have notable experience as classical actors. Three of David Dennis’ five Fleur du Cap awards have been for Shakespearean roles in Twelfth Night (Malvolio), The Taming of the Shrew (Hortensio) and as Launce and various others in Marthinus Basson’s production of Two Gentlemen of Verona at Maynardville. Meyer’s credits include Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, the villainous Don John in Much Ado About Nothing both at Maynardville and Rosencrantz in Janet Suzman’s production of Hamlet, which was performed as part of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Complete Works Festival in Stratford-upon-Avon in England. Anelisa Phewa is fast proving himself as a rising young star in both television and theatre. His classical theatre credits include Fabian in Twelfth Night at Maynardville and as Victor in Noël Coward’s classic comedy Private Lives. Director Fred Abrahamse, who has also designed the set and lighting, has directed some of the most successful and accessible productions of Shakespeare in South Africa. His long list of credits include the Handspring Puppet Company’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the 2002 Maynardville production of Dream, Much Ado About Nothing and Romeo and Juliet both at Maynardville.

After years of civil war between the royal houses of York and Lancaster, King Edward IV is on the throne. His youngest brother, Richard, Duke of Gloucester plots to become king. First he has his brother Clarence killed and then he seduces and marries Lady Anne, daughter-in-law of the deposed and murdered King Henry VI. When King Edward IV dies of natural causes, Richard, aided by his cousin the Duke of Buckingham, plots to succeed him. Queen Elizabeth, widow of Edward IV, mistrusts Richard and is proved right when he has her brothers Rivers and Grey executed. Richard then has Elizabeth’s two young sons imprisoned in the Tower of London. He declares them bastards and seizes the throne. Once crowned, Richard orders the murder of the two young princes. Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond, heir to the House of Lancaster, prepares to invade England. The night before the battle the ghosts of all his victims haunt Richard. The following day he is killed in battle at Bosworth Field. Richmond becomes Henry VII and marries Elizabeth of York, finally uniting the houses of Lancaster and York, and thus ending the War of the Roses. History is filled with despotic leaders who have risen to power and then succumbed to megalomania, paranoia and corruption. Across Africa and the world, corruption and political power struggles are rife. The exploration of this theme and examination of why power corrupts is particularly pertinent to South Africa today.
The Tragedy of Richard lll runs at the Barney Simon at the Market Theatre, nightly at 8:15pm from 15 March to 24 April 2011 with tickets costing R60 to R130 via Computicket. Follow Richard III on the web:  www.artscape.co.za or follow the production on Facebook.