July 4, 2017

Richard III


 
From the moment Matt Anderson takes the stage, his seething and scheming Richard III demands your full attention. It's a role that would be easy to over act, but instead Anderson's portrayal is raw and visceral. He has frequently popped up in supporting roles over the years, but this play gives him a chance to stretch his wings and show what he can do. He is mesmerizing as the simpering villain.

Under Glenn Dobbs’ direction, some of the simplest moments are the most powerful. There's a scene where the two ill-fated nephews grasp hands, and that simple gesture conveys so much emotion.  The set is simple, consisting of only a few chairs or benches. The audience surrounds the stage on three sides and the cast makes the most of the intimate space.


 
Christina Howard’s plays both Lady Anne and Lord Grey, but it’s her performance as the grieving widow that is particularly powerful. She and Allison Clark Reddick (playing Queen Elizabeth) are both beautiful studies of grief and heartbreak. They wear their anguish on their faces as others vie for the crown. 

The show is presented by First Folio Productions and Catalyst Repertory at the IndyFringe Theatre. The collaborative work never suffers from having too many cooks in the kitchen. Instead its message is clear from the start. In addition to maintaining the original language of Shakespeare’s work the production open and closes with scenes set in the 2012 discovery of Richard III’s actual bones in England. Though the play is somewhat fictionalized, it’s based on real people. It's a reminder that history is often more bloody than any fiction we can create.

 
Though there is only one more weekend left to see this fantastic show, you can still get your Shakespeare fix from these same production groups in October at the Bard Fest. This year's offerings include Cymbeline, Taming of the Shrew, and Macbeth. The festival moves from Carmel to the IndyFringe Theatre for the first time. If Richard III is any indication, it shouldn't be missed. For more information visit the website here.

Don't Miss the Show

The show runs until Sunday, July 9th at the IndyFringe Basile Theatre on Mass Ave so hurry to get tickets. Tickets are $15 Adults/$12 Students & Seniors or $18 at the door. The box office opens one half hour before show commences. For more information about First Folio Productions, visit firstfolioproductions.org. For more information or to purchase tickets visit the website here.
Photos Courtesy of First Folio Productions

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