The Tragedy (and Comedy) of Richard III
May 30, 2013
When we heard Richard III's skeleton had been found under a car park in Leicester we knew we wanted to put on Shakespeare's Richard III. In fact after we've performed at The Dell, we'd like to put on a Richard III tour of UK car parks.
The children, with the help of our director, Mary, have had great fun working out how to recreate the digging up of Richard for the beginning of our performance, and we've got some amazing ideas to try out.
Recently we had a Richard party where we told the story of the play and practiced executions on Jelly Babies. We have a large chart and family tree that we're using to help us learn who everyone is: it's quite hard as everyone seems to be called Richard, Edward or Elizabeth!
Yesterday some of us met on a 15th century bridge to practice our stage fighting skills: the Battle of Bosworth will be the highlight of the production for lots of the children - I am reliably informed by our nine-year-old Henry Richmond that having the whole King's Troupe on stage sword fighting and shouting 'Have at you!' is the best thing ever.
So naturally we are planning to make it magnificent with fabulous displays of fighting, dramatic deaths, maybe some circus skills (and definitely no horses).
We have a new member who is going to play all the messengers dressed as a carrier pigeon. The Princes in the Tower seem to be Princesses in the Tower at the moment, mocking Richard and working on an escape plan.
We have also acquired some extra characters (quite an achievement for a play that lists over 50 characters uncut...), such as Death with a scythe and his assistant with fairy wings and light sabre. I think this might just be our most exciting production yet.
by Ellen Mateer
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