Richard III

Rated 4.0

Shakespeare’s famously dark history play is about a twisted man who will stop at nothing to attain the throne, and he’s a villain that audiences for centuries have loved to hate.

The production is set in period—including broadswords—and it asks the audience to make the effort to grasp the fractious family politics of royalty (as Richard engineers the demise of various male kin, and a few women as well).

Richard is bad to the bone from scene one—the fascination comes from watching him spin his lies. Actor Ian Bedford revels in his role as the smiling killer. White-haired actress Jillian Lindig (as Richard’s horrified mother) gets in some great speeches publicly denouncing her bloody son.

On opening night, the first half had some slow spots, and the light and sound were sometimes glitchy, but those problems have probably shaken out, and the show has many more pluses than drawbacks overall.