Here and now

After two years touring nationally, Richard III by the Italian actor Michele Sinisi finally lands in Shakespeare’s hometown. At Draper Hall, in London, the iconic villain reveals himself as he has never done before.

Abstract in Italian

Richard III di Michele Sinisi sbarca finalmente nella città del suo autore dopo due anni di tour nazionale. Una messa in scena radicale quella che Sinisi porta al Draper Hall di Londra, che spoglia il Re e ne restituisce, masticato, il corpo, destruttura il testo e lo rende suono, smantella il classico e ne fa esperienza estetica. Un’operazione coraggiosa da cui si esce storditi, trapassati da parte a parte e con la netta sensazione che Riccardo ci sia entrato dentro, fino all’osso.


Michele Sinisi boldly choses to bring to the stage only the opening monologue of Richard III.
The scene is bare, bleak, extremely cold, featuring a steel table which is constantly turned around, kicked, beaten and thrown. At times a morgue, a madhouse bed, a prison cell, a place of the mind that knows only Richard’s agonising isolation.

Richard spits, whips, hurls, kicks his way to the crown with enviable resilience. He physically assaults the mere objects on stage as well as the words he chews, the meaning of which dissolves into pure sound. His rage is conscious, relentless, and desperate. The ferocity of his violence is directly proportional to his anguish. If he cannot have love, he will monopolise hate.

The table, a lamp, a balloon, a red marker and gallons of spirit – which the King uses to remove everything he writes, are the only objects that Richard relates to in his torment. He clings to his table as he obsessively writes on it, erases and writes again the names of his enemies and the words which define his existential condition. The emotional pain we feel for his torment becomes physical, tangible, as the sharp smell of the spirit spreads throughout the theatre.

There is in this Richard III a humanity that makes the flesh crawl. It may be Sinisi’s gaze which continuously addresses the audience, a gaze so true that it slices all the way through. It may be the mesmerising effect of a destructured text, that frees the monologue from its grandeur and turns it into pure sound. Or, perhaps the reiteration of gestures, which strips them of their context to become mere kinesthetic objects so easily relatable.
What is certain is that there is something fiercely moving in Sinisi’s deconstruction of the play’s frame, of the dramaturgy, of the action, of the character himself. Sinisi’s radical portrayal of the murderous monarch unveils a side of the King we haven’t seen before. This is a bold, radical, risk-taking reimagining of Shakespeare’s classic.

Draper Hall
Hampton Street, junction with Newington Butts, LONDON SE1 3AN
25th-27th April 2019
Thu-Fri-Sat 7.30 pm

Richard III
from William Shakespeare
directed and interpreted by Michele Sinisi
written with Francesco M. Asselta
voice off by Peter Speedwell
technical direction by Alessandro Grasso
sound by Claudio Kougla
assistant Director Daniele Geniale
production secretary Lidia Bucci


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