Close Up Theatre have delivered another fantastic show this year
This production is a very modern take on the play and, considering the average age of the cast, makes the show seem very relevant. Richard is described as 'a very modern politician' and we can see this throughout the show as he sits in his leather arm chair at his desk, watching all of his accomplices carry out his dirty work for him. At times we forget that we are watching an old text about a fifteenth-century monarch, as Close Up Theatre have successfully infused vitality and modernity into this adaptation.
Though the cast is enormous (almost 30 actors) there are few weak links amongst them. All of them have a very good grasp of the language they are handling and are so committed to their parts that we follow them all of the way. This is incredibly impressive for such a young cast. Richard himself (Jake Deasy) is superb, hobbling around stage with a venomous charm that demands our attention. The display of talent on show here is remarkable and I expect some great things from these youngsters.
There are moments where staging and direction seems clumsy or not quite thought through with care. For example, Lady Anne is wheeled on stage in a chair, yet with so many actors and so much set upstage that it looked clumsy, as the two actors pushing her struggle to navigate through what seems like an obstacle course. Similarly, as impressive as it is to see all of Richard's victims fill the stage as ghosts, there is no discernible order to this and they end up looking rather squashed together
There is no doubt that Close Up Theatre have delivered another fantastic show this year, and I cannot wait to see what they will produce in the years to come. They are a very promising company with a hugely talented cast.