In a country riven by deep divides, ambition and backstabbing rip the rulers apart. On the battered streets, anxious families struggle to protect their children from gangs, knife crime, suicide. For all the talk of
Enter Richard, the worst of all men; Alastair Nunn emanates dark charm and unspeakable awfulness, but also the tragic stereotypical repetition of his patterns of threat, deceit, betrayal. Henchmen and co-conspirators bitch and bicker around him; Angus Fraser is excellent as Buckingham, the conniver pushed relentlessly against his moral boundaries, and Kate O’Connor crackles as Tyrell, half Game of Thrones guignol, half Assassin’s Creed relentlessness. As the cast expire in a crescendo of competitively horrible death scenes, corpses become almost percussive, bodies smacking stone.
A short break resurrects the cast in exquisitely painted
Outdoor Shakespeare brings risk and challenge; birdsong misses its cue, revellers drift over from the Castle Quarter, a generator thrums throughout. But all this underlines and frames the hacked-together, broken, post-conflict world, and the humanity of the actors who love, live and die in this open courtyard.