March 4, 2013
Richard III - Theater Critique
Valentines Day has always been a nonevent in my life. This February 14th, however, I had a date to Richard III. It didn’t include roses and a candlelit dinner afterword, but it was a fantastic show. Set in an unknown third world country, in the present day, Richard III is the story of power hungry man who will stop at nothing to reach the top. No covenant can’t be broken, no rightful heir to the throne can’t be taken care of.
The play opened with a familiar warning sound. The one typically made on an airplane when the fasten seatbelt sign is turned on. I thought this was brilliant because it became clear immediately that the scene was going to be taking place in or around an airport. A very flight attendant-like voice welcomed the audience and asked that cell phones please be turned off. I thought that was a nice touch rather than just having an usher address the audience.
The way the characters were introduced to the audience was one of my favorite parts of the show. Fifteen televisions stacked on the left side of the stage were turned on and several scenes played. These scenes set the tone and gave us background information. I thought that was a very clever way to accomplish those things, but wish the screens had been easier to see. Other than the gaggle of televisions, the set was fairly plain. I liked this a lot though because I feel like it gives the show a deeper creative element as they use what little props on stage to create a visual. For example, in the second act Richard and Richmond go into battle, leaving the city in ruin. The crew was able to portray this with flashing lights, loud sounds and packing peanuts. Another aspect of the set that I liked was the room on the right side of the stage. It was used as a hospital room and tower that housed King Edwards two sons, supposedly for their safety. Death fell upon all the occupants of this little...