Richard III

by William Shakespeare

  • Theatre
  • Show
The 2015 archive

Thomas Ostermeier

Berlin / Created in 2015

"Richard III" was recorded on July 11 and 12, and broadcasted at 10:40 pm July 13 on ARTE

Richard III © Christophe Raynaud de Lage


An incarnation of absolute evil, as ugly of body as he is dark of soul: so is King Richard often perceived. Able to seduce with his words, this student of Machiavelli is a genius manipulator who positions himself at the heart of all the bloodiest political machinations that take place at the court of England. A poisonous and perverted hero, he is as fascinating as Iago or Lady Macbeth, and the centuries haven't made him any less mysterious. Thomas Ostermeyer is the latest to tackle Shakespeare's play, in a new translation by Marius von Mayenburg that changes English verses into German prose to keep as close to the text's meaning as possible and paint the portrait of a Richard III who, more than just a serial killer, also reveals the instincts hidden inside every man. This king-actor, played by Lars Eidinger, uses his gifts to do on the stage what we might want to do, sometimes, in our lives. He creates with the audience a troubling complicity that gives another meaning to this bloody, disturbing, and overwhelming epic. Once again, Thomas Ostermeier manages to turn the theatre stage into the place where the past can become the present.

Richard III was written early in William Shakespeare's career, between 1592 and 1593, right after the Henry VI trilogy, of which it could be seen as a sequel. Its story is that of the end of the civil war known as the Wars of the Roses, which raged in England between 1455 and 1485. The rivalry between the Lancaster and York families indeed comes to an end with the battle of Bosworth; in the last scene of Richard III, the eponymous king is slain by Henry Tudor, who will ascend the throne as Henry VII.


Direction Thomas Ostermeier
Translation Marius von Mayerburg
Scenography Jan Pappelhaum
Dramaturgy Florian Borchmeyer
Music Nils Ostendorf
Lights Eric Schneider
Video Sébastien Dupouey
Costumes Florence von Gerkan, Ralf Tristan Scezsny
Puppets Susanne Claus, Dorothee Metz
Fight choreography René Lay
Surtitles Uli Menke

Thomas Bading
Edward, Le Lord-Maire de Londres, Deuxième assassin
Robert Beyer Catesby, Margaret, Premier assassin
Lars Eidinger Richard III
Christoph Gawenda Clarence, Dorset, Stanley, Prince de Galles (marionnette)
Moritz Gottwald Buckingham
Jenny König Lady Anne
Laurenz Laufenberg Rivers, York (marionnette)
Eva Meckbach Elizabeth
Sebastian Schwarz Hastings, Brakenbury, Ratcliff
et le batteur Thomas Witte


Production Schaubühne (Berlin)

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