Opened 4 Oct 2005
Written: by William Shakespeare
Directed: Trevor Nunn
Producer: Old Vic Theatre Company
Cast: Kevin Spacey (Richard II)
Synopsis: Richard II, believing he's king by divine right, is confronted by rebellion. He becomes isolated, with a shrinking band of supporters, and detached from the country and its people. Shakespeare's play questions the meaning of 'monarchy' if a divinely appointed sovereign can be pushed aside, and a man with no such claim replaces him in power.
What the popular press had to say:
MICHAEL COVENEY for THE INDEPENDENT says, "Nunn has always had the knack of making the most difficult plays seem easy in modern dress...The trick works brilliantly here, with the lords assembled in ermine robes in wooden pews in a rough likeness of the House of Lords." NICHOLAS DE JONGH for THE EVENING STANDARD says, "You would need a heart of stone not to be stirred by Kevin Spacey, oozing pomp and circumstance, in the empty glitter of Trevor Nunn's modish, moderndress production of Richard II." MICHAEL BILLINGTON for THE GUARDIAN says, " If the play wears modern-dress rather uneasily, Spacey's fine performance confirms his Shakespearean credentials...As a production, it is lively and energetic. " BENEDICT NIGHTINGALE for THE TIMES says, "Thanks to his skills [Spacey’s Richard II] and Trevor Nunn’s direction, it is strong enough for us at last to feel confident about the future of Spacey’s regime and of our most venerable classical theatre...For all the pomp, circumstance and diagonal parades, Nunn’s production is never merely picturesque. Moreover, he gets strong performances from everybody." CHARLES SPENCER for THE DAILY TELEGRAPH says, "This is the show we've been waiting for since Kevin Spacey took over at the Old Vic more than a year ago - a chance to see this great actor in a leading Shakespearean role...There are undoubtedly some terrific moments from both Spacey, and from his director, Trevor Nunn."