Richard III, Pleasance Theatre, London N1 (0171-609 1800) 7.30pm

As any good Tudor historian will tell you, Richard III took the throne in 1483, a post he clung to for just two years and two months. Mind you, anyone coming cold to Richard Eyre's 1930s staging of Shakespeare's popular historical tragedy could have been forgiven for thinking that the ambitious, power-hungry, murderous monarch was a contemporary of Oswald Mosley. As with the subsequent McKellen film version, the leading actor of this new production has also been responsible for the distillation and relocation of the text. Eddie Marsan (above) plays Richard and, together with Guy Rettallack and Ruth Platt, has pared the play down to a pacy two hours, and moved the action still further towards the present. It now takes place in an East End pub in 1968, a similarly feudal society where violence is the most successful currency. With such estimable talents as Margaret Robertson and Michael Matus in the cast, the omens are very good.

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