Critically acclaimed Front Foot Theatre presents its dystopian take on Shakespeare’s most charismatic, tour de force villain, Richard III, in a new production running for a strictly limited season at London’s Cockpit Theatre from 14 October to 4 November 2017, with a press night on 18 October.
Setting Shakespeare’s history play in a dystopian future, director Lawrence Carmichael brings his international reputation for stage combat and physical theatre to create a fierce, bold and highly relevant production about fear and power.
Richard III is a timeless and universal story of the rise and fall of a dictator. A twisted antagonist, Richard enlists the audience as his co-conspirators and encourages them to witness his devious plots in becoming King. Fuelled by jealousy manipulation and deceit, he aims at the crown and takes to destroy all who stand in his way including those closest to him.
The production is designed by Amanda Mascarenbas, with costumes by Carrie-Ann Stein and lighting by Sam Waddington. For full casting, see also our Rehearsal Photos gallery feature today.
Front Foot Theatre are a theatre company of experienced actors using the Meisner Technique that allows for a different performance every night. The company was founded by husband and wife team Kim Hardy (Ian Charleson Award Nominee) and Julia Papp (Winner of Accolade Award of Merit), who play Richard and Lady Anne in this new production.
How much do you know about the Meisner Technique?
Sanford Meisner is one of the most respected and influential acting teachers of the 20th century. Meisner, Stella Adler and Lee Strasberg are generally regarded as America’s three greatest acting teachers. They were founding members of The Group Theatre, 1931-1941.
“An ounce of behaviour is worth a pound of words.”
Meisner and his fellow actor Adler fell out with their director Strasberg over his use of Emotional Recall, a technique in which the actor used personal emotion from his own past memories to feed the acting process. Meisner and Adler chose to use the imagination to stimulate emotion and involvement in a play’s imaginary circumstances. He began teaching at New York’s Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in 1935. He developed what is known as “The Meisner Technique,” influenced by The Stanislavsky Method.
“The hardest thing to achieve is simplicity. We always complicate everything, either out of dishonesty or out of a desire to show off or prove something. Direct communication is powerful and difficult and dangerous. You have to commit yourself wholly to the task, and you have to be true and clear all the time.” – Marlon Brando
Students of the Meisner Technique work on a series of progressively complex exercises to develop an ability to improvise, to access an emotional life, and finally to bring the spontaneity of improvisation and the richness of personal response to textual work. The technique emphasises “moment-to-moment” spontaneity through communication with other actors in order to generate behaviour that is truthful within imagined, fictional circumstances.
Previous Front Foot productions
Richard III follows Front Foot productions of David Auburn’s modern play Proof at the Tabard Theatre and Chekhov classic The Seagull at the White Bear. Did you see either of these?