“Originally seen in the Globe’s Sam Wannamaker theatre in 2019, this thrilling revival by Anjoa Andoh and Lynette Linton of Shakespeare’s play about politics, power and performance has been available online for a while now, but is well worth exploring. Andoh is brilliant in the title role as a king heading up a country in turmoil. If back in 2019 it made you think of May and her tottering government now it makes you think of Boris and his cronies. Is there ever a moment when Richard II isn’t relevant? I doubt it, and this pulsating production performed by a company entirely made up of women of colour asks other pertinent questions around race, gender and history and who holds the power and who gets to have a voice.”
Beset by problems at home and abroad, a capricious king is forced to relinquish his ‘hollow crown’. As his supporters abandon him and his power trickles away, Richard reflects with startling eloquence on the disintegration of his status and identity.
Adjoa Andoh and Lynette Linton direct the first ever company of women of colour in a Shakespeare play on a major UK stage, in a post-Empire reflection on what it means to be British in the light of the Windrush anniversary and as we leave the European Union.
As we play our part in defining a nation’s history and we become the shoulders on which future generations will stand, Shakespeare asks us to consider the destiny that we might be shaping for our ‘scepter’d isle’.
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