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Richard III, 24 août 2016 19:30, Lyceum Theatre
Deeply influential theatre maker Thomas Ostermeier returns to the Edinburgh International Festival with a raw, gritty reimagining of Shakespeare’s unflinching study of evil, in a compelling and critically acclaimed production from Berlin’s Schaubühne Theatre (Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz).
Richard is a deformed, hobbling, hunchbacked cripple who has helped his brother Edward to become King with a few judicious murders. But the end of the Wars of the Roses brings Richard no peace. Playing his rivals off against each other, and gleefully killing again, he clears away every obstacle in his own path to the throne.
Thomas Ostermeier is one of the world’s most revered and provocative directors, renowned for drawing stage action and audiences closer together. He remains faithful to Shakespeare’s original, but presents Richard III as both a theatrical thriller and a celebration of evil – of submitting to the inner impulses we usually keep well in check.
This visceral production brings the audience up close to Shakespeare’s charismatic psychopath, darkly comic in his amoral ambitions.
Lars Eidinger, a cult figure in German theatre, is a mesmerising, sometimes shocking Richard, damaged and disfigured, who murders his way to the throne and exposes the mistrust and conflict within the ruling elite.
With ferocious live drumming from Thomas Witte and a stark stage design by Jan Pappelbaum, this is an intensely physical, harrowing Richard III that digs deep into the nature of evil and the craving for power.
William Shakespeare / Schaubühne Berlin / Thomas Ostermeier