Richard III

Richard III, as portrayed by William Shakespeare, is a vile humpbacked villain. Richard III, as portrayed by Lars Eidenger of Schaubühne Berlin (and directed by Thomas Ostermeier) last night at The Brooklyn Academy of Music, is almost like an evil deformed rock star dressed in clothing more suited for bondage than for ruling. He is entirely unlikeable, as expected, and yet he is riveting: he runs around naked; he pisses on stage; he uses foul language; he taunts the audience; his personal habits are disgusting; and he loudly broadcasts his vile plans into a dangling microphone more suited to a boxing ring than a king — all against the backdrop of loud edgy music by Nils Ostendorf. It was incredibly uncomfortable to sit through this performance, and I was glad when it was over. I honestly felt almost assaulted, it was so unrelenting. I was also glad I attended because it was such a fresh contemporary rendering of this intriguing and oft-performed historical character. It was also really interesting to hear it performed in German (with surtitles.) If Richard III was indeed the serial killer he seemed to be, this production spared nothing in portraying him as such. It was entirely believable — and because of this — almost stressful to endure.

 

 

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