Transformed Trafalgar is located in the heart of London, five minutes from the famous Trafalgar Square in the iconic Trafalgar Studios in Whitehall. His second season started full of politically-charged, with an amazing new production of Richard III, the historical play written approximately in 1952 by William Shakespeare. Directed by James Lloyd and the wonderful actor Martin Freeman as the undisputed star in the role of Richard III, this peculiar adaptation reached its final performance on 27 September with great public success and moderated criticism.
If who had the opportunity to see it thought at some point that they were going to find a classic and entirely conventional adaptation of Richard III by Shakespeare, I am totally convinced that changed their opinion as the play began. They have found a vibrant, innovative, interesting and exciting production. Just needed to open the mind and let in this new approach to this classic. If in addition they got a front row seat, I hope you’d be careful with blood splatter (like me) in this bloody rise to power that undertakes Richard III.
If Iago allow me, I would say that Richard III could be the biggest villain in Shakespeare highlighting among many other things, for all those amusing moments and sinister scenes adorned with comicality in a long, dark and very bloody journey to his way to the throne. A character full of much literary wealth (as everything is in Shakespeare) always carries a risk and at the same time, a challenging to interpret in any environment.
In this case, the challenge was released to splendid actor Martin Freeman who in my humble opinion of spectator has been able to give all that requires a character of these features, with the added difficulty involved in having located far from his natural period. This means that the director Jamie Lloyd decided to reinvent to Shakespeare and moving story of Richard III to Great Britain in 1970s, adapting the events at that time with the story written by Shakespeare.
Perhaps here is where it gets more risky this new production. This change was one of the most censored by critics but is just a part that I consider makes this production a referent. At first it overflows and you can feel confused by the drastic change in the environment in which the play takes place respect to the original. The setting is centered in an office and the building is located is established as the basis for the military have taken over in response to industrial and economic problems of the country, in which the characters talk, argue, give campaign speeches, fight and murder. The set design created by Soutra Gilmour is superb. It focuses on desktops, TVs, conference tables, office phones and aquariums that become an improvised battlefield, as the play progresses. Two elevators on both sides give input and output characters and situations, all in a frantic rhythm, where actors and especially Mr. Freeman interacts with the audience allowing them to share his purposes, in a tone of dark and perverse humor. A task which is particularly difficult to carry out for an actor without seeming forced, faked or lack of seriousness. Martin Freeman gets it perfectly.
Complete the production a group of actors and actresses difficult to forget for their brilliant work. I love this part of the theater that in giving you the opportunity to discover new names to form as part of your emotions lived under the magic of theater. Highlight the beautiful actress Gina McKee who knows how to express the anguish, anger and pain of a totally cornered woman as Queen Elizabeth.
Finally, I would end up talking a little more about Martin Freeman. His reputation about knowing how to give perfect rhythm and interesting approaches to texts comedy is more than deserved, just like his ability to make you shudder, terrifying and thrilling at the same time. He’s perfect, immense reciting lines from Shakespeare so mythical as “A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!.”
In short, a show that may have gotten closer to a new audience and excited too old. With the legendary phrase: “Now is the winter of our discontent” Richard III begins his speech. In my case I would say this was the summer of my content, my theater, in my second home: London.
Thank you all for your time reading my reflections. I hope to able to forgive if with my poor English I have offended the word of the master Shakespeare.