Far from a winter of discontent, March 2019 is the spring of excitement, as Alexandra Palace mounts its first ever co-production, staging Shakespeare’s Richard III with Headlong, Bristol Old Vic, Royal & Derngate Northampton and Oxford Playhouse. The history play runs in the newly restored London venue from 13 to 31 March. Book your tickets now.
In addition to its London run John Haidar‘s new version of Shakespeare’s play runs at Bristol Old Vic (1 to 9 March & 2 to 13 April), HOME Manchester (30 April to 4 May), Oxford Playhouse (7 to 11 May) and Royal & Derngate Northampton (14-25 May).
After decades of civil war, the nation hangs in the balance. Enter Richard, Duke of Gloucester, to change the course of history. Richard was not born to be a king, but he’s set his sights on the crown. So begins his campaign of deceit, manipulation and violence – and he’s killing it. Yet, behind his ambition lies a murderous desire to be loved.
Haidar’s production promises to take at innovative look at Shakespeare’s classic text, exploring what drives Richard, what caused him to become the power hungry monarch we recognise, and his desire to be loved.
Tom Mothersdale leads the cast as the eponymous king. He returns to Headlong, for whom he has previously starred in The Glass Menagerie, Boys and Romeo and Juliet. His other credits include The Woods (Royal Court), John, Cleansed (both National Theatre) and Oil (Almeida Theatre). Mothersdale previously won the Ian Charleson Award in 2015 for his performance as Yasha in the Young Vic production of The Cherry Orchard.
Mothersdale is joined in the Richard III cast by Stefan Adegbola, Derbhle Crotty, Heledd Gwynn, Tom Kanji, Michael Matus, Leila Mimmack, Eileen Nicholas, Caleb Roberts and John Sackville.
John Haidar, who directs Richard III, is an Associate Artist of Headlong. His recent productions include Disco Pigs (Trafalgar Studios) and Last of the Boys (Southwark Playhouse), while he worked as associate/assistant director on productions including Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Harold Pinter Theatre), The Plough And The Stars (National Theatre) and The Changeling (Shakespeare’s Globe).
Alexandra Palace Theatre first opened in 1875. A marvel of Victorian engineering, it was a home for spectacle and wonder. At it’s peak, it hosted pantomime, opera, drama and ballet for audiences of up to 3,000. For 80 years it has been closed to the public, frozen in time and now preserved in a beautiful state of arrested decay. But an ambitious and complex restoration project has breathed new life into one of London’s best kept secrets and before Christmas it reopened to audiences.
Speaking about Richard III, Louise Stewart, Chief Executive of Alexandra Park and Palace Charitable Trust, said: “It is hugely exciting to be welcoming back Shakespeare to Alexandra Palace Theatre. To do so with such established and renowned peers, Headlong and Bristol Old Vic, is a real statement of intent for the venue. This is a bold partnership and I have no doubt that this beautifully preserved, reawakened space will provide the perfect backdrop for Headlong’s distinctive style.”
Richard III is followed at London’s oldest new theatre by a season of comedy and music, featuring Tommy Tiernan, Reginald D Hunter, Ardal O’Hanlon and English National Opera.
Richard III runs from 13 to 31 March at Alexandra Palace Theatre, Alexandra Palace Way N22 7AY. Performances are Tuesdays to Sundays at 7.30pm (except 15 Mar) with matinees Thusdays (except 14 Mar) and Saturdays at 2pm. There are extra 2pm matinees on 15 and 17 March. Tickets are priced from £10. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!