Richard III PosterBy William Shakespeare

Directed by: Douglas Abel

Performances: March 12-15, 18, &   20-22, 1986

Venue: Theatre of the Arts, Modern Languages

Richard III, has been England's "black legend" for almost four hundred years, and William Shakespeare's dramatic treatment of his life and death has done more than any other work to make Richard both black and legendary. It is doubly ironic, then, that Shakespeare's portrait of the "bunch-backed toad" king may be almost completely false. Shakespeare drew his "facts" from accepted histories of England (Hall, Holinshed, Grafton, Vergil) and the history of Richard's life upon which these chronicle histories were based was written by Sir Thomas More, the saintly martyr to truth and honesty; More provided the undeviating perspective from which Richard was viewed by those who followed him. More, however, probably received his information from John Morton, Bishop of Ely, one of Richard's fiercest enemies, and one of Henry VII's most loyal servants. There is really no evidence from Richard's own time that he was evil and cruel, that he had his brother, Clarence, and the young Princes murdered, that he was a bad king, or even that he was physically deformed in any way. All these 'facts' appeared during the reign of Richard's successor and usurper, Henry VII, who had as much reason to dispose of the Princes as Richard himself had little. Ultimately, Shakespeare's Richard III may represent the most blatant and the most successful case of rewriting history and political propaganda on record.

Shakespeare's character, therefore, may have to be regarded as myth rather than fact. But the portrait of evil he presents remains one of the most vivid and fascinating in the theatre. Richard repels and attracts at the same time. His cruelty, lack of conscience and deformity -both physical and mental- are counterbalanced by his wit, his courage, his enormous intellect and his boundless energy. We may feel that Shakespeare's mythical Richard deserves to die, but we do not rejoice in his death. The theatrical Richard is 

        a portrait which almost mind triumph over moral even in the

        estimation of the spectator who, called upon by every human

        sympathy to abominate, is almost involuntarily disposed to

        admire. The voice of execration is lost in the awe and wonder

        with which we follow the crookback in his march...we admire 

        him in spite of ourselves. 

        (F.W. Hawkins, The Life of Edmund Keep)

Scene: England 1483-1485

Cast

Maarten van Dijk - Richard

Richard Walsh - Clarence

Mark Dobbelsteyn - Brakenbury, Richmond

Lea Carroll - Hastings

Paul Strangways - Henry VI, Archbishop of York, Norfolk

Beth Jost - Lady Anne Neville

Anthony Verbruggen - Tressel, Ratcliffe

Sean Saunders - Berkeley, Catesby

Laura Astwood - Queen Elizabeth

Jeffrey Dineen - Rivers, Tyrrel

Andy Watt - Dorset

Gordon Douglas - Gray, Surrey

Iain Wright - Buckingham

Duffy Knox - Stanley

Sandra Kasturi - Queen Margaret

Stewart Easun - Murderer 1, Priest

John Sellens - Murderer 2, Lovel

Paul Bosch - King Edward IV

Susan J. Schmidt - Duchess of York

Jennifer Abel - Duke of York

Paul Reichert - Messenger, Citizen, Soldier

Neil Wiffen - Cardinal Bouchier, Herbert

Cathi Rainville - Edward, Prince of Wales

David Horton - Lord Mayor, Vaughan, Oxford

Chuck Peeren - Messenger, Citizen, Soldier

Lisa Swarbrick - Jane Shore

Jeff Tiffin - Bishop of Ely, Blunt

Roman Neubacher - Scrivener, Brandon 

Robert Abel - Page

Everyone - Guards, Soldiers, Alderman, Citizens, Messengers

Productions

Director - C. Douglas Abel

Set and Light Design - Al Anderson

Costume Design - Cathi Rainville

                        - Susan J. Schmidt

Original Music - Geoffrey H. Bennett

Production Manager - JAmes Milburn

Stage Manager - Elizabeth Shannon

Assistant Director - Lisa Swarbrick

Assistant Stage Managers - Susan Burke, Mary Rossley

Master Carpenter - James Milburn

Master Electrician - John McGuire

Property Master - Angus Rogerson

Property Assistant - Andrea Ottley

Scenic Artist - John Smith

Armoury Specialist - QUIV

Costume Mistress - Barb Gosling-Gray

Wardrobe Assistant - Rose Alekio

                              Carla Bernachi

                              Carissa Cameron

                              Andrea Gabe

                              Christopher Gray

                              Dianne Ingram

                              Cathi Rainville

                              Susan J. Schmidt

Sound Technician - Stephen Gabe

Stage Crew - Carla Bernachi

                    Stephen Gabe

                    Martin Harris

                    Alwyn Huigens

                    Doug Hohener

                    Dave Horton

                    Drew Richmond

                    Andy Watt

Marketing Crew - Nancy Carrick

                          Tim Darling

                          Brian Dilks

                          Jennifer Gamble

                          Susan Hadfield

                          Kim Sprenger

Photographer - Drew Richmond

Graphic Design - Karen Fletcher

Special Thanks

Heritage Bridal House, Waterloo

Stratford Festival Theatre

Shaw Festival

Wilfred Laurier University

Collins House of Formals