The Tragedie of King Richard the Second

  • Sat 24 Mar - Sun 25 Mar

Anərkē Shakespeare, a new innovative theatre company creates raw and fast-paced Shakespeare, bringing you the multifaceted text by an actor-led ensemble without a director, inspired by the working conditions in which Shakespeare conceived his plays. The audience, together with the cast, will work imagination to bring to life the Sceptred Isle of England, in this film Noir, naked-framed perspective of Richard the Second – Shakespeare’s poetic masterpiece. The play, in the hands of this gender-blind, diverse cast, questions ideas of identity and nationality and the complex issue of what it means to be an “Englishman”, and what it means to be human.

Shakespeare, the great humanitarian, was an actor, writing for actors, in a world that for him was all a stage. Inspired by the Shakespeare of the past to create theatre for the future, Anərkē Shakespeare brings you a Richard the Second conceived entirely by the actors for the audience. In the hollow crown of a King keeps death his court, and inside this emptiness Richard must learn to face himself in the mirror. With him, we face our vulnerability, our dependence on others, our mortality, and ultimately the preciousness of our little scene.

Starring Mary Davies (PhD RSC/Shakespeare Institute); Jim Findley (Watership Down, Lyric Hammersmith, Donmar, Almeida); Jack Klaff (RSC, West End, James Bond For Your Eyes Only, Star Wars); Elena Pellone (Venice Shakespeare Company, Kath and Kimderella); Alison Reid (RSC, National Theatre, Bristol Old Vic, Three Girls BBC); Anthony Renshaw (RSC, National Theatre, UK Olympics 2012); David Schalkwyk (Director Global Shakespeare QMUL); Vik Sivalingam (RSC, Bristol Old Vic, RIO Olympics 2016) and Alessandra Quattrini (Venice Shakespeare Company, Rai 5 Italy).


The Sunday matinee will be followed by a meet and greet with the actors discussing the viability of director-less Shakespeare and how diversity in casting can reflect the true purpose of playing: ‘whose end, both at the first and now, was and is, to hold as 'twere the mirror up to nature’.