Review: Richard II, Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon


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What is it? David Tennant and director Gregory Doran reunite at the Royal Shakespeare Company, with Tennant as the eponymous, capricious king.

The Independent says: “With his great gift for playfulness, Tennant runs heavily sarcastic rings round his usurper … delivers the plaintive, self-pitying arias with a scathing irony for the most part, flecked by tiny surrenders to abject panic … at once sufferer and observer of the tragic process whereby, when the royal persona shatters, it exposes the naked, insecure person underneath.”

They say: The Telegraph: “Tennant is frail, pale and consistently interesting but the nervous energy he excels in is confined to quarters … It’s the older hands who galvanise proceedings … Tennant shines, but he has shone brighter.”

Daily Mail: “Shakespeare’s magnificent verse is spoken intelligently. Add some interesting directorial innovations from Doran, not least as to who kisses (and kills) the king. [But] in the centre of the show is that astonishing hairdo worn by Tennant’s nail-varnished Richard. Is he meant to be Russell Brand?”

You say: @brizmofent: “Lucid and thrilling with Tennant an absolute joy.”

Details: to 16 Nov; transfers to the Barbican, 9 Dec;