Puducherry

Shakespeare’s Richard III comes alive

A scene from the play Richard III staged during the Bharat Rang Mahotsav's parallel theatre festival at Auroville.

A scene from the play Richard III staged during the Bharat Rang Mahotsav's parallel theatre festival at Auroville.   | Photo Credit: T_Singaravelou

Play strikes resonance with a spectrum of issues ranging from national identity to political ambition

An adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Richard III, a searing scrutiny of the politics of power — personal and political — was staged at the 21st Bharat Rang Mahotsav parallel theatre festival being held at Adishakti, Auroville.

This was one of the two plays of the Bard of Avon to be brought to life at the theatre festival, the other being city-based group Indianostrum’s Chandala Impure based on Romeo And Juliet.

Richard III (Director: Guy Roberts), marking Shakespeare’s conclusion to his epic Wars of the Roses chronicles, was performed by the Prague Shakespeare Company, Czech Republic.

Deformed in body and spirit, it portrays a depraved madman’s obsession with becoming King of England. Does he fall? Of course, but not before taking down all of us on his wickedly entertaining ride.

Jealous and crippled, Richard of Gloucester murders his brothers, nephews, and any opposition to become King Richard III.

It is left to Henry of Richmond t raise an army, kill Richard in battle, and ascend the throne as King Henry VII.

The stellar cast included Jan Thomson, OBE, British Deputy High Commissioner to India.

The director sees the play as a story that plays out in front of us time and time again, and, if anything, has become even more relevant now, over 400 years after it was written, with corrupt leaders stopping at nothing to achieve and maintain power.

The play strikes resonance with a spectrum of issues ranging from national identity, political ambition, honour and duty.

The Prague Shakespeare Company is continental Europe’s only professional English-language Shakespeare company, employing artists from across Europe, Asia and North America, by bringing together a group of artists from many different cultural sensibilities.

Mr. Roberts, Founding Artistic Director of Prague Shakespeare Company (PSC), is a recipient of the 2018 Best Actor Houston Theatre Award for his performance of the poet in An Iliad. He has been awarded the TG Masaryk Medal of Honour from the Masaryk Democratic Movement in recognition for his work promoting arts and artistic freedom, and the inaugural Sidney Berger Award from the Shakespeare Theatre Association in recognition of his outstanding talent and dedication to the works of William Shakespeare.

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Printable version | Apr 9, 2020 7:42:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/shakespeares-richard-iii-comes-alive/article30837496.ece

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