Richard III



Award-winning actor Mark Rylance took on one of the most villainous characters in history as the title role in Richard III. This production ran in repertory alongside Twelfth Night as part of Shakespeare’s Globe’s “The Play’s the Thing” season at the Apollo Theatre.

Based on the real-life monarch, Shakespeare’s Richard III is a scheming, Machiavellian hunchback who murders anyone who stands between him and the crown. Despite having killed her first husband, he successfully courts and marries Lady Anne. With calculating cunning, he manipulates his way through the court, and he betrays his brothers and loyal advisors on a bloodthirsty and ruthless quest for power.

The production featured the same creative team as Twelfth Night, including director Tim Carroll, designer Jenny Tiramani, and composer Claire van Kampen. Performed by an all-male cast, the play used designs and music inspired by the original Shakespearean productions in the 16th century.

Richard III opened on 6 November for a strictly limited season before closing on 10 February 2013.


Cast Information

Mark Rylance played the title role, after his Olivier and Tony Award-winning performance in Jerusalem at the Apollo Theatre. He was the founding artistic director of Shakespeare’s Globe from 1995-2005. His Jerusalem co-star Johnny Flynn plays Lady Anne, whilst The History Boys’ Samuel Barnett plays Elizabeth.



Daily Telegraph Logo

“…there’s a quiet sadness about Rylance that lends melancholy even to the villain’s clowning aspect… A withered left-hand rests fixed across his chest but the deformity is felt most keenly within. This Richard doesn’t try to compensate for his weaknesses, he plays on them to manipulate others – but his self-loathing undoes him when he seizes the crown…”
Dominic Cavendish, The Daily Telegraph

The Guardian Logo

“…when Rylance does finally unleash his fury, the effect is like a cobra discharging its venom…”
Michael Billington, The Guardian


London Evening Standard Logo

“Mark Rylance…defines Tim Carroll’s production. From the moment he first appears, announcing that he is ‘determined to prove a villain’, he captivates us.”
Henry Hitchings, The Evening Standard



Stage Seats

This production of Richard III was first staged at Shakespeare’s Globe. To replicate the Elizabethan feel of the Globe at the Apollo, a select number of seats were  added to the stage, and from these seats one could expect a unique and up-close experience of the show.


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