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June 2, 2009 | by  | in Theatre |
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Richard II

theatre

As humans we thrive on danger. It’s why we love horror films, it’s why we love to rebel and it’s why we—well at least some of us—can’t help but get up on a stage. With a giant swing hanging from the ceiling and the audience in very close proximity, Shakespeare’s Richard II opening at Studio 77 this week is set to draw us into a world where anything could happen. This “carnivalesque space” is home to a King who’s an a crobat, a Duchess who’s a contortionist, and Lords who are Lions.

Richard II is the story of a King, put on the throne at ten and left to govern. “It’s a coming of age tale,” says Simon Haren, who plays Richard, “but he comes of age too late,” adds Ailsa Krefft, who plays Richard’s cousin and closest advisor, Bollingbrook.

It sounds like a wild adaptation, but rather than directly transferring the court setting to a circus, this production uses characterisations and dramatic set (I had a peek and I recommend you get there early to sit near the front) as a metaphor through which to see play.

As the young King walks a tightrope, audiences will tip to the edges of their seats to watch what looks to be the most tantalisingly risky production of a Shakespearean play in Wellington this year.

By William Shakespeare
Directed by David O’Donnell and Rachel Lenart
Interview with Simon Haren, Jeremy Keene and Ailsa Krefft.

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About the Author ()

Fiona was named "Recessionista" in the ASPA Fashion Awards 2009 for her Takaka op-shop frock and spray painted shoes. She co-edits the arts section and also likes to write about women and other stuff.

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