Play of the week: Richard II, Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon

 

Paul Taylor
Thursday 24 October 2013 17:37
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Gripping: Tennant exudes bored irritability that erupts in tyrannical caprice
Gripping: Tennant exudes bored irritability that erupts in tyrannical caprice

After their glorious Hamlet, David Tennant and Gregory Doran reunite for a lucid, gripping Richard II.

A splendid Tennant admirably resists any temptation to make the king likeable, exuding the bored irritability that erupts in tyrannical caprice.

Richard would always choose theatrical effect over political prudence, and with his gift for playfulness Tennant runs sarcastic rings round his usurper in the deposition scene.

But there isn't a weak link in the cast, from Nigel Lindsay's Bolingbroke to Michael Pennington's John of Gaunt, Oliver Rix's Aumerle and Oliver Ford Davies's Duke of York. A hit.

0844 800 1110; rsc.org.uk; to 16 November

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