This pack supports the RSC’s 2022 production of Richard III, directed by Gregory Doran.

The activities provided in this pack can be used either as stand-alone practical approaches to the play or as supporting activities for students seeing the production. They have been designed with KS3 and KS4 students in mind but can be adapted for other age groups. Some are best suited to an open space such as a hall, but many can be used in a classroom.  

A man wearing a full suit of armour and a golden crown yelling
Photo by Ellie Kurttz © RSC Browse and license our images

About the production 

This new production of Richard III is a conclusion of a tetralogy, of four plays, that examine the history of the Wars of the Roses. It sees Richard, Duke of Gloucester, rise to take the crown as he murders his way to become King. It’s a play exploring tyranny and conscience. 

Like the Henries, the plays that precede this one in the tetralogy, it is a play about power. Shakespeare wrote this approximately 140 years after the Wars of the Roses happened (which is roughly where we are now from the First World War) and the set has a replica of the cenotaph that can be found in Whitehall in London. As a play that is haunted by the dead, a monument for the glorious dead seems fitting. The costumes place it closer to 1400’s when Richard was ruling. This counterpoint offers audiences the opportunity to really consider the impact of war and tyranny, without needing to excuse some of it’s more complicated ideas, because it is simply something from our past, and therefore not related to our present. 

Aaron Parsons, Associate Director, Henry VI: Rebellion and Wars of the Roses, 2022. 

Watch the company of Richard III describe themselves in this behind-the-scenes video.

See audience reactions and clips from the show with this trailer for Richard III.

Exploring the Story

  • Synopsis



Exploring the Characters

  • The Rehearsal Room

  • Activity 2A: What is a Hero?

  • Activity 2B: Who is the Hero?

Exploring the Themes


  • Activity 3A: Know the Rules

  • Activity 3B: It’s Not What You Call Me, But What I Answer To

  • Activity 4: Richard Perspective

  • Theme Two: Conscience

  • Activity 5A: Becoming Ghosts - Travelling

  • Activity 5B: Becoming Ghosts - Gesture

  • Activity 5C: Becoming Ghosts - Haunting Richard

  • Activity 6: Richard’s Soliloquy

Richard III

Shakespeare Learning Zone

Teacher Resources

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