Karen, Bruce, Claudia, and I saw *Richard III* at Lincoln Center’s White Lights Festival on 11/15/19, performed by Dublin’s Druid Theatre Company. Karen and I have seen four or five productions by them here in New York, we have to see them whenever they come to town, they’re extraordinary.
The show was uneven but the good outweighed the not so good. Director Gerry Hynes had a strong point of view, kept it consistent, and made a few bold choices that paid off. Part of the problem with the show was a shortcoming of mine - - I don’t always understand what’s being said when I see Shakespeare. I roll with it and I follow what’s going on, but so much of it sounds like a foreign language. Karen made the valid point that a few of the older actors (the great Marie Mullen in particular) were crystal clear in their performances and delivery of the text, so maybe this has more to do with the actor’s facility with the language than it does with the language itself.
The costumes were rather cheesy, but that didn’t bother me too much. I am officially tired of seeing it rain onstage, that has become a tired old cliché and we need to have a rest from that for a while. It's not dramatic, it's just wet.
Aaron Monaghan played Richard III and wow, what a dazzling performance. He has quite a few soliloquies, especially at the start, and he was so charming and smooth, we all fell for him. Which of course made his betrayal of us (and everyone in the play) so much more powerful. Also Monaghan embodied the deformities of Richard in such an extreme way, I imagine he has to have massages and physical therapy after every performance, to put himself back in alignment.
I don’t want to give a spoiler (please email me if you want me to tell you about it), but the final image of the play was chilling, stunning, breathtaking.