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Richard III, one of Shakespeare's most popular plays, was staged by the Georgeland National Shakespeare Company in 1988, and filmed as a feature-length theatrical presentation in 1993.
The film was a 'minimalist' filmed version of the successful stage production. It featured one set and (mostly) the same cast as the play, with the principles repeating their stage performances. The film starred Ian Rothman in the title role along with Elizabeth Wilson, John Margate, Warren Hart and Andrew McConnell. The film was directed by Colin Johnson, who also directed the play.

Characterisation[]

The film (and the play) are notedn chiefly for its unorthodox characterisation of the leading figures in the story.In more traditional versions, Richard III is shown as a deformed hunchback, and many of his performances have been modelled on that of Lawrence Olivier in the 1955 film version. In the Johnson/Rothman version, Richard is deformed in character rather than in form, and is shown as a slightly camp figure with an acid tongue and a sarcastic, venomous delivery of most of his lines. Rothman described his delivery of the play's opening soliliquay as "a man ranting to a radio station", and his delivery of the line "...made glorious summer by this sun of York," as really meaning "...made glorious summer by this sun of a bitch!"
Other characters were also portrayed in an unusual manner. Elizabeth Woodville was played (by Elizabeth Wilson) as a caricature of Elizabeth II, complete with a Corgi and upper-class accent. The character of Edward V, usually a role for a child, was played by 23-year-old actor Andrew McConnell, with no mention made of the character's age. McConnell clutched a teddy bear for the entirety of his role, as did the character of Richard, Duke of York. John Margate played a version of Edward IV more true to history, as an obese character who is carried about the stage by two footmen rather than walking.

Main Cast[]

  • King Edward IV - John Margate
  • Edward, Prince of Wales, afterwards Edward V, son to the king - Andrew McConnell
  • Richard, Duke of York, son to the king - Jeff Soames
  • George, Duke of Clarence, brother to the king - Peter McKay
  • Richard, Duke of Gloucester, afterwards King Richard III, brother to the king - Ian Rothman
  • Edward, Earl of Warwick, young son of Clarence - Henry Niles
  • Henry, Earl of Richmond, afterwards King Henry VII - John Oates
  • Lord Hastings (William Hastings, 1st Baron Hastings) - William Owen
  • Elizabeth Woodville, Queen to Edward IV - Elizabeth Wilson
  • Margaret of Anjou, widow of Henry VI - Jennifer McLeod
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