The Barn Theatre, Southwick Community Centre
September 26, 27, 30 – October 1, 2, 3 & 4, 2008
by William Shakespeare
– House of York –
Judith Berrill – The Duchess
Tony Brownings – Edward IV
Philip Balding – George [Clarence]
Guy Steddon – Richard [Gloucester]
– Richard’s Enforcers & Apprentices –
Kati Szeless – Catesby
Hazel Starns – Ratcliff
Sarah Frost – 1st murderer
Kirsty Biss – 2nd murderer
Tony Brownings – Tyrell
Zoey Attree – Page
Mark Best – Brakenbury
Natalie Colgate – Elizabeth
Brian Gill – Rivers [Elizabeth’s relative]
William McDonald – Dorset [Elizabeth’s relative]
Tom Pearson – Grey [Elizabeth’s relative]
Sarah Frost – Prince Edward
Kirsty Biss – Young York
Kirsty Biss – Young Elizabeth
Tom Harris – Shore [All-purpose mistress]
– House of Lancaster –
Gill Etter – Margaret
Anna Quick – Anne
John Garland – Richmond
– Nobles & Politicians –
James Doyle – Buckingham
David Creedon – Hastings
Peter Thompson – Derby
Ray Hopper – Cardinal
Joan Bearman – Lord Mayor
Tony Brownings – Norfolk
Ray Hopper – Oxford
Joan Bearman – Herbert
– Everyday Folk –
Zoey Attree – Citizen
Mark Best – Citizen
John Garland – Citizen
Joan Bearman – Citizen
Tom Pearson – Priest
Tom Harris – Priest
Tom Pearson – Messenger
Zoey Attree – Messenger
Mark Best – Messenger
Ray Hopper – Scrivener
Fiona Cameron – Mistress Mop
Production Assistant – Fiona Cameron
Production Design – Bob Ryder
Stage Manager – David Comber
Deputy stage manager – Zara Spanton
ASM – Fiona Cameron
Lighting Design – Mike Medway
Sound Technician – Philip Oliver
Wardrobe – Margaret Pierce
Wardrobe – Cherry Briggs
Props – Margaret Davy
Props – Sue Whittaker
Workshop – David Comber
Workshop – David Collis
Workshop – Carl Gray
Workshop – Paul Checkley
Marblous Painters – Sue Chaplin
Marblous Painters – Sheila Neesham
Marblous Painters – Margaret Davy
Original Music Composed & Produced – Steve Gallant
Publicity – Rosemary Bouchy
Publicity – Rosemary Brown
Publicity – Anna Barden
Poster Design – Judith Berrill
Production Photographs – Lucien Bouchy
Front of House – Betty Dawes
Programme Note #1: Richard III
BR wrote: “Richard III is from the early years of Shakespeare’s writing career, probably first performed around 1593. While it marks a big advance on earlier works like the three Henry VI plays, it does it does not have the subtlety and richness of the greater writing still to come. Nevertheless, Richard III was highly popular from the outset and has remained so. It’s rightly been called ‘the first English play that has consistently held the stage’.
Why is Richard III so popular?
The plot is interesting and exiting; it has strong dramatic situations; the language is witty and vigorous; and there’s plenty of variety in the multitude of characters. Above all, of course, there is the magnetic character of the ultimate anti-hero, Richard Duke of Gloucester, who ,plots and murders his way to become the Richard III of the title.
Wick’s production hopes to bring out all of these strong characteristics of the play. But what else are we trying to highlight?
If we start first with Richard, there is the ambiguity of how we are attracted to a character with no moral scruples, to the point where we are almost complicit in his crimes. The production tries to heighten this ambiguity, and the deeply unpleasant consequences, as his victims and their mourners pile up.
Secondly, we draw we draw out the significance of the four royal women who at various points stand up to Richard. They only have the power of words to tip the scales against him, but finally their deep curses prevail. So, unlike many productions which make some of these parts smaller, we have kept them very prominent, as the strong counterweight to Richard. We have also celebrated to toughness of women kind in the casting of of some of the more ruthless ‘enforcers’ and ‘apprentices’ whom Richard employs!
Thirdly, the play has abroad sweep of rise and fall, in which Richard climbs steadily for the first two-thirds of the action and descends more quickly to a bloody retribution [finally destroyed like the mad dog he is often likened to]. At the start of the play we come out of a ‘winter of discontent’ into glorious summer; then, as ‘prosperity begins to mellow and drop into the rotten mouth of death’, we descend back into the darkest season. Our production emphasises this further by suggesting that civil war and ‘discontent’ are not just what the country has come out of, but what it will return to.
Many of the characters shift their allegiance with the political seasons, so we try to show the ambition, hypocrisy and vengefulness that drive them. Against the background of these mean and unattractive qualities in so many of the characters, it’s easier to understand why Richard’s brand of pure wickedness is more seductive and exciting. In all the scheming manoeuvres that take place in this big game of chess, it’s Richard’s moves which stand out as brilliant and daring.
We are delighted that this production involves so many of our members in so many different capacities. Newly-joined members have played important part, in the workshop, production and acting departments, for example, and in the composition of the original soundtrack music. It is also tremendous to have five members of the Young Wick team in the cast – along with two distinguished veterans of the 1950s and 1960s Young Wick!”
This is Bob Ryder’s seventeenth Wick production as director, in as many years. His previous Shakespeare productions at the Barn were Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and As You Like It. ”
Publicity #1: Richard III
Publication: Chichester Observer
Publication Data: September 24 September 2008
Text Header: Wick Theatre presents Richard III
Publication: Shoreham Herald – Guardian section – page 2
Publication Data: September 26 September 2008
Text Header: Twists, turns and surprises galore – it’s Richard III
SHAKESPEARE enthusiasts will be in for a treat, thanks to Wick Theatre Company’s innovative staging of Richard lll. The play will be performed entirely in the round, allowing audiences to get close to the action.
The villain of the piece is Richard, Duke of Gloucester – best known for killing the princes in the tower and who thoroughly enjoys being bad. No one around him is safe as he murders his way to becoming king, polishing off enemies, relatives, many of his supporters and even his wife.
Richard will be played by Guy Steddon, who received critical acclaim for his last Wick Theatre Company performance, as Benjamin in The Graduate. The cast of 23 has been drawn from members of the Wick and Young Wick groups and features some new and returning members, including Anna Quick as Richard’s ill-fated wife-to-be, Anne.
At the start of the play, Richard’s brother, King Edward [Tony Brownings], is close to death, while his queen, Elizabeth [Natalie Colgate], has to endure Richard’s taunts and, later, the murder of her two sons. The audience will also meet bitter Queen Margaret [Gill Etter], whose husband and son were among Richard’s earlier victims, and the Duchess of York [Judith Berrill], the despairing mother of the dying Edward and scheming Richard.
Richard’s opportunistic supporter Buckingham will be played by James Doyle in his first performance at Southwick’s Barn Theatre. The part of Richmond, who finally brings about Richard’s downfall, will be played by John Garland.
Richard III will be director Bob Ryder’s fifth Shakespeare production at the Barn, and plenty of twists, turns and surprises are provided. Actor Sir Ian McKellan has described Richard III as “exciting, funny, sexy and violent”, and the Wick Theatre Company production aims to be all of those.
Richard III will be performed at the Barn Theatre, at Southwick Community Centre, in Southwick Street, Southwick, on Friday, September 26, and Saturday 27. and then from Wednesday, September 30, to Saturday, October 4. Curtain-up is at 7.45pm and tickets, priced £8.50, are available from the box office on 01273 597094, or online via www.wicktheatre.co.uk
Review #1: Richard III
Publication: Shoreham Herald
Publication Data: October 9 2008 issue – page 22
Reviewer: Sam Woodman
Text Header: All too few see a superb play
Sub Header: ‘PRIZE GUY’ gives a masterclass
AUDIENCES were transported back to 1400s England, complete with the Wars of the Roses raging, for Wick Theatre Company’s latest production.
Richard III was performed entirely in the round at Southwick’s Barn Theatre, with seating around and also on what would normally be the stage.
The tale centres on the iniquitous Richard, Duke of Gloucester, who, while happily plotting, scheming and murdering his way to the crown, manages to be more than a little endearing. The part of Richard could be compared to a pantomime villain, in that the character loves to be hated and audiences thrive on it, although award-winning actor Guy Steddon’s outstanding portrayal of the man who would be king was anything but hammy. Morally bankrupt and smilingly deranged, Steddon’s Richard revelled in his scheming in the tale, ultimately about one man’s rapid rise – and even more rapid fall. He was ably supported by a cast of 23 actors performing the play’s 37 speaking parts, with not a single fluffed or forgotten line from any one of them.
At first, Richard seems invincible as his power grows, but the words and curses of the four royal women in his life – played by Judith Berrill, Gill Etter, Anna Quick and Natalie Colgate – ultimately prevail. The large cast provided opportunities for many Wick players to take part, with newcomers such as James Doyle [Richard’s opportunist supporter Buckingham] and Sarah Frost [Prince Edward / First Murderer] given the chance to shine under Mike Medway’s lighting, as well as five members of Young Wick taking part.
Richard III was Bob Ryder’s 17th Wick production as director in as many years, and can be added to the list of previous Shakespearean success stories already comprising Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and As You Like It.
The only let-down was the size of the audience and the number of empty seats. Whether the “credit crunch” and belt-tightening is to blame, or whether people feel wary of Shakespeare, remains unclear. What is clear, however, is that a well-directed, impeccably acted and thoroughly entertaining production should have been seen by more people.
That it wasn’t is bordering on a crime, albeit one far less heinous than Richard III’s.
Review #2: Richard III
Publication: Brighton Argus
Publication Data: Unknown
Reviewer: Barrie Jerram
Text Header: Unknown
The prohibitive cost of costume hire often necessitates a setting in modern dress. While this gives a director the opportunity to be inventive, it can also lead to gimmickry. Sadly, that is the case in this production. Director Bob Ryder obviously believes that the female is more deadly than the male, with murderers and executioners played by women. Killers in scanty bondage gear may work in Bond films, but here they jar. More believable are Richard’s chainsaw-wielding henchwomen, who would not have been out of place in a Tarantino film.
That said, there was much to enjoy in this telling of Richard’s bloody climb to power. Amongst many good performances those from James Doyle, Gill Etter, Anna Quick and Judith Berrill stand out. But towering over these is Guy Steddon in the title rôle. Dispensing with the usual bodily deformities, he relies solely on facial disfigurement and mixes chilling rants with sardonic humour.
Ryder’s inventiveness is at its best in the final battle scene, where he eschews sword fighting and has Richard assassinated and ritually clubbed by a mob. A sequence involving the snuffing out of candles at the end is also a neat touch.[/showhide]