A Directory of Shakespeare in Performance, 1970–1990 pp 1430-1478 | Cite as
The idea [of the New York Shakespeare Festival] was to show… that whole historic and ruthless pageant called the Wars of the Roses… “ Richard III” has been added to provide a complete picture of this bloody, ignoble but pertinent saga … I have never enjoyed “Richard III”… and in part it is a tribute to the concept of presenting it as the satisfying conclusion of the complete entanglement of history, which this triple program makes so gratifyingly clears I have admired [Donald] Madden before, but his Richard III is a superb achievement. Previously, he always seemed a little remote, externalized, but here Mr. Madden takes the part by the throat and exults in it. The particular pleasure of Mr. Maddens Richard is the physical joy he takes in his wickedness. He crawls across the stage like a wounded, smiling spider, and yet his vitality is deadly. As a hypocrite he oozes self-righteousness, as a soldier he spits venom. This is a formidable performance that not only concentrates on Richard as a vile, misshapen man of action, but also on his almost psychic sense of evil. This Richard is the grinning devil incarnate. As in the earlier play’s, Mr. Vaughan has staged the action at a fast and furious pace. Lives are dispatched with energy, battles swirl around the stage, and Mr. Vaughan has a lively sense of spectacle. Richard at court, for example, his long cloak thrown grandiloquently over his throne while he takes private audiences, or Richard at Bosworth field, before his fall, caught in his tent and receiving in fitful terror the ghosts of his murdered victims. Yet, “Richard III” is quite clearly different in quality from its predecessors, and this Mr. Vaughan recognizes. The sudden almost cinematic changes of pace are gone …
KeywordsEvil Nature Final Scene Lively Sense Battle Scene Stage Business
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