Richard III: Bogeyman. Villain. Evil incarnate.
Or is he? What if he is she? What if the ‘hideous…. deformed, hobbling, hunchbacked cripple’ is portrayed by someone funny, female, feminist, and with the same form of scoliosis?
How might the story change, the body change, the acting change, the character change when explored by a disabled actress with deadly comic timing and a dislike for horses? How would previous star vehicle Richards measure up? Olivier, McKellan, Pacino, Spacey – watch out – the mighty Richard III Redux has you in the frame….
Following their critically acclaimed collaboration on Cosy, Sara Beer will take on Richard III and his previous (non-disabled) interpreters with award-winning playwright Kaite O’Reilly and director Phillip Zarrilli, joined by filmmaker Paul Whittaker.
Sara Beer… steals the show… a brilliant and disconcerting comic turn…
Gary Raymond ‘The Arts Desk’ on ‘Cosy’ 2016
O Reilly is a writer to cherish…
Lyn Gardner. The Guardian
Running time: approximately 70 minutes. No interval
Sara Beer and Kaite O’Reilly are ‘disability experts’ and the crew are passionate about making richard iii redux OR Sara Beer Is/Not Richard III an accessible performance. This performance will be live-captioned. It is also possible to arrange a touch tour and description of the visual aspects of the performance one hour before the show goes up. Please contact the Box Office to book this in advance.
20 February 2018
Kaite O’Reilly writes on cripping up, and how her new production offers a witty, feminist, alternative disability perspective on Shakespeare’s history play.
I have known performer/collaborator Sara Beer since the 1980’s when we were both involved in the Disabled People’s Movement and the emerging disability arts and culture scene. Sara was the obvious choice for this project when I first conceived the idea of a one woman show about Richard, from a disability perspective, performed by someone with the same physicality as the historical Richard. It wouldn’t be the first time a disabled actor has played the part. Mat Fraser played Richard III in Northern Broadside’s 2017 production, but given how monstrous Shakespeare’s Richard is, and how far he deviates from historical accounts, I started questioning whether having a disabled actor play a distorted disabled part would be ‘enough’? Would it create diversity and balance, or simply reinforce notions of ‘normalcy’ and negative representations of difference? Out of these questionings with co-creator and director Phillip Zarrilli, the project was born – this would not be a production of Shakespeare – rather, a response to Richard’s portrayal both in Shakespeare’s text and through the actors who have embodied him, viewed through a lens which is female, disabled, and predominantly Welsh.