Richard II

William Shakespeare

Richard II

King Richard banishes his noblemen and seizes their land to fuel his own wars. As anger mounts, a battle for the soul of England begins and one man's divine right to rule is called into question. Shakespeare's poetic masterpiece is an epic tale of destruction, ruin and decay that casts light on the decline of a kingdom and the solitude of power. 3.7 out of 5 based on 12 reviews
Richard II

Omniscore:

Location London
Venue Donmar Warehouse
Director Michael Grandage
Cast Pippa Bennett-Warner, Andrew Buchan, Ron Cook, Daniel Easton, Michael Hadley, Sean Jackson, Eddie Redmayne, Sian Thomas Harry Attwell
From December 2011
Until February 2012
Box Office 0844 871 7624
 

King Richard banishes his noblemen and seizes their land to fuel his own wars. As anger mounts, a battle for the soul of England begins and one man's divine right to rule is called into question. Shakespeare's poetic masterpiece is an epic tale of destruction, ruin and decay that casts light on the decline of a kingdom and the solitude of power.

Reviews

The Evening Standard

Henry Hitchings

There's a wealth of detail in the performance. Some of it distracts us from the eloquence of the verse, but mostly this is a subtle evocation of how power stifles personality.

07/12/2011

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The Daily Express

Julie Carpenter

Grandage ... goes for the psychological root of the play, having it unfold as Richard's tragedy, and he evokes a richly Medieval atmosphere, emphasising Richard's belief in himself as the divinely anointed monarch.

07/12/2011

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The Financial Times

Sarah Hemming

There is also naturally a topical dimension to the play for an audience familiar with global news of out-of-touch leaders being toppled. But Grandage lets any such connections speak for themselves: he keeps his period production focused, bringing to it the clarity, fluency and delicacy that have been hallmarks of his work it is best.

07/12/2011

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The Independent

Paul Taylor

There are piercing touches in this production where the human cost of kingship is brought home.

07/12/2011

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The Observer

Susannah Clapp

Both cocky and tremulous, Redmayne captures perfectly the peculiar mixture in Richard of a man who feels born to rule but incapable of doing so; together he and Grandage unlock the difficulties of a play that is half-Henry-History, half Hamlet.

11/12/2011

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The Stage

Mark Shenton

There’s a filmic fluidity to the staging that gives it a breathtaking narrative sweep ... Yet the poetry of the play is also allowed time to breathe.

07/12/2011

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The Daily Telegraph

Charles Spencer

A beautiful and moving production.

07/12/2011

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Time Out

Caroline McGinn

The close ensemble work; the intuitive casting of young and rising stars; the tastefully moving integration of mood, design and feeling: it adds up to an extraordinary marriage of style and sensibility which always beguiles but sometimes, as in this 'Richard II', is a little over-gilded and lacks the substance of greatness.

13/12/2011

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The Spectator

Lloyd Evans

A grave danger with this play is that the action can stall in the dry entanglements of a thousand courtly intrigues but this production has an amazing clarity and the right brisk pace about it. A beginner with no previous knowledge of the Middle Ages would grasp every syllable.

31/12/2011

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The Independent on Sunday

Kate Bassett

Redmayne’s performance proves a disappointment. He is, as yet, not sufficiently assured to capture all of Richard’s mercurial complexities. The facial twitches seem increasingly superficial. His glazed stare means he hardly connects with anyone emotionally.

11/12/2012

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The Daily Mail

Quentin Letts

Maybe Mr Redmayne is simply too good-looking to play a character this problematic.

07/12/2011

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The Guardian

Michael Billington

Like many Shakespearean tyros, [Redmayne] also falls into the trap of seeking to illustrate virtually every line with an appropriate hand gesture: thus when he offers "to write sorrow in the bosom of the Earth" he mimes a signature forgetting that the potency of the idea lies in the words.

06/12/2011

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