Richard III, Apollo Theatre, London. December 2012.
I'm a bit late in getting this review up, I can't blame the pressures of the festive season more a nasty virus that has wiped me out.
In retrospect it was probably a bit silly making the trip the London to see this, I'd been ill beforehand but the lure of seeing the production again and feeling fine on the day saw Mr Norfolkbookworm and I on our way to the Big Smoke.
I'd seen this play back in August and thought it brilliant then and I really think that it transferred wonderfully to the West End. In many ways it was a better location - with no helicopters and sirens to be heard none of the dialogue was lost and the seats were also more comfortable than the Globe benches. The lights weren't dimmed out and so some of the audience atmosphere from the open theatre remained.
Being in a smaller theatre (no Groundlings between the seats and the stage) the nuances of Mark Rylance's Richard III were very clear and his take on the character's madness were chilling. His stage presences and expressions were funny but the words chilling, put together this made for a brilliant performance.
The rest of the cast were all fantastic, and as ever the Globe created a real ensemble piece, the one thing I found most interesting about this version was I *think* that the cast used the theatre and stage steps far more here than they did at the Globe. We had end of row seats near a door and to be that close to the actors was very exciting.
I loved having the chance to see Richard III again, it is certainly in my top 10 of 2012 and seeing a Globe performance in the winter makes me all the more excited for the Sam Wanamaker Indoor Jacobean theatre next year!