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Richard III

The Barn Theatre, Southwick Community Centre

September 26, 27, 30 – October 1, 2, 3 & 4, 2008

Richard III

by William Shakespeare

Directed by
Bob Ryder

2008 BHAC Full Length Drama Competition
– Bea Waters Challenge Cup for Best Overall Production
– The Gabbus Denney Award for Best Director
– The Flower Family Award for Best Technical Achievement : Steve Gallant for his original music
– Best Lighting Design : Mike Medway

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“Well-directed, impeccably acted”
– Shoreham Herald –


– 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 Crew

Production AssistantFiona Cameron

Production DesignBob Ryder

Stage ManagerDavid Comber

Deputy stage managerZara Spanton

ASMFiona Cameron

Lighting DesignMike Medway

Sound TechnicianPhilip Oliver

WardrobeMargaret Pierce

WardrobeCherry Briggs

PropsMargaret Davy

PropsSue Whittaker

WorkshopDavid Comber

WorkshopDavid Collis

WorkshopCarl Gray

WorkshopPaul Checkley

Marblous PaintersSue Chaplin

Marblous PaintersSheila Neesham

Marblous PaintersMargaret Davy

Original Music Composed & ProducedSteve Gallant

PublicityRosemary Bouchy

PublicityRosemary Brown

PublicityAnna Barden

Poster DesignJudith Berrill

Production PhotographsLucien Bouchy

Front of HouseBetty 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. ”