Some people would do anything to get to the top…

Melbourne Theatre Company’s Artistic Director Simon Phillips will direct a contemporary version of William Shakespeare’s production Richard III for a seven week season at The MTC Sumner Theatre from April 24 – June 12. Richard III is Shakespeare’s captivating story of the devilish Duke who (popular history maintains) murdered, manipulated and married his way to the throne of England.
 
Drawing parallels to today’s global political landscape, MTC’s contemporary production looks to Washington for its inspiration, in particular the successive Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations. Phillips sees Shakespeare’s play as an examination of power in testing times; when peace is abandoned and enemies conjured from thin air; when friends and foes swap allegiances under political pressure.
 
Having recently created a sensational play Henry V in the acclaimed War of the Roses tour, Ewan Leslie makes his MTC debut as Richard, limping malevolently ahead of a procession of some of Australia’s finest character actors; Humphrey Bower (Buckingham), Roger Oakley (Hastings), Deidre Rubenstein (Duchess of York), Bert Labonte (Richmond), James Saunders (Rivers), Zahra Newman (Catesby) and Alison Whyte (Elizabeth). A special thrill will be to see back on an MTC stage after too long an absence veteran stage performer Jennifer Hagan, playing the spectral Queen Margaret. Rising star Meredith Penman makes her debut as Lady Anne along with Anthony West (Grey), Carl Nilsson-Polias (Prince of Wales), Lachlan Woods (Dorset) and Paul Ireland (Surrey).
 
After years of civil unrest between the royal houses of York and Lancaster Edward IV has been crowned King of England. Everyone is joyous, everyone, that is, except his brother Richard, Duke of Gloucester. Richard stops at nothing to fulfil his burning desire to seize the throne, removing anybody in his path, starting with his other brother George, Duke of Clarence.
 
In the malformed, malcontent Richard, Shakespeare brought to the stage one of its greatest villains, a personification of evil in three vivid dimensions.
 
“If it’s true that, perversely, we all love a good villain, then Richard III must be one of theatre’s most lovable characters. Shakespeare’ bravura study of Machiavellian manipulation was the original proof that a good thriller can be as entertaining as a comedy.” – Simon Phillips MTC Artistic Director
 
‘Conscience is but a word that cowards use, devised at first to keepthe strong in awe.’ Richard Act V scene III
 
Richard III – MTC Theatre, Sumner
Season dates: 24 April to 12 June 2010
Opening night: Thursday 29 April 2010 at 8pm
Tickets $42.55 – $83.15: (Under 30s $30)
Booking information: MTC Box Office (03) 8688 0800 or mtc.com.au
Mini Subscriptions now on sale: 3-6 play packages start from as little
as $130.80, Under 30s just $75.00
MTC Box Office (03) 8688 0800 or mtc.com.au

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