Jonjo shines as Richard III at RSC's Swan

By IH 18/04 Updated: 24/04 16:50

Buy photos » Jonjo O'Neill makes an engaging Richard III. (s)

Ricahrd III

RSC Swan Theatre

Stratford

JONJO O'Neill, with a little help from his friends, ensures The World Shakespeare Festival gets off to a gripping start.

The young Belfast-born actor relishes in the role of the power-hungry crookback in Roxana Silbert's dynamic and energetic production. With real swagger and charm, he engages the audience, almost as co-conspirators, into Dicky III's world of treachery from the off with a knowing smile and a quick playful quip.

While Richard's exterior deformities have been far more exaggerated, O'Neill puts the emphasis on the cartoonish villainy within - and does it with style. Never better than in his carefully stage-managed acceptance of the crown, with fellow players dotted around the balconies of the Swan egging him to take it.

O'Neill's Richard is however far from some one dimensional comic creation, and his pathological striving for power is made chillingly obvious, in a production which forms part of of a Nations At War trilogy - alongside King John, and in July the world premiere of A Soldier in Every Son-The Rise of the Aztecs - exploring the struggle for absolute power and the right to lead a nation.

While O'Neill may dominate proceedings, he is more than ably supported on the barest of sets, save for a few electric ligtbulbs hanging above.

There are some particularly strong performances from the women - notably Pippa Nixon as Lady Anne, Sandra Duncan as Duchess of York, and Paola Dionisotti as Margaret - while Brian's Ferguson's Buckingham lends a suitably strong prop to Richard's scheming.

Richard III runs until September 15. For tickets visit www.rsc.org.uk or call the box office on 0844 800 1110.

Popular Stories »

1 Henry IV Parts I & II review-RSC, Stratford-on-Avon

2 Bulldog Bash set to return in August 2014

3 Fake goods worth millions seized at Wellesbourne Market - again

4 Gaydon/Lighthorne Heath tops housing site list in Stratford

5 Fire fears over towns safety

More entertainment »

Richard and Romeo get global makeovers at RSC

RICHARD III gets the South American treatment while

Chaotically colourful King John at RSC

King John RSC Swan Theatre Stratford THE FEMALE

Jessie J to play Warwick Castle

BRIT Award Winner Jessie J will headline this

Winter internationals for RSC

THE RSC's winter season in Stratford will continue

Regional entertainment »


Evesham Observer
Cracking music releases this Easter

WITH the Easter break in full swing, Observer editor Rob ...

Redditch Standard
Dibley characters provide some divine interaction

AUDIENCES are being transported to the village of Dibley at ...

Leamington Observer
The Cemetery Club at Kenilworth Talisman Theatre

LIFE and all its many questions are raised in The ...

Business Directory »

See your advert here »