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Shakespeare North to stage Richard III play world premiere

Shakespeare North Playhouse is set to premiere a new play about Richard III penned by historical novelist and screenwriter Philippa Gregory.

Richard, My Richard will come to the Prescot venue’s Cockpit stage next March in a special co-production with Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds and which is billed as a “passionate, tender portrait of a man in his time”.

Tickets go on general sale tomorrow.

With an explosion of tarmac, a Leicester city car park erupts and Richard III crashes from his lost tomb to meet the character who has ruined his reputation: History, the record keeper who doesn’t always have his mind on the task.

Richard believes he has risen from the grave to heaven with an unstained conscience, and the awkward task falls to History to tell the undead king that all is not as he imagines.

As Richard challenges, History admits he has his own doubts. He is often revered as the bearer of truth, yet his perspective is skewed – History overlooks people and stories.

Above: Richard III's tomb in Leicester Cathedral. Top: The Cockpit theatre at Shakespeare North. Photo by Andrew Brooks

After Richard III was killed at the Battle of Bosworth in August 1485 his body was brought to nearby Leicester and buried in an unmarked grave at the long gone Church of the Grey Friars.

Over the centuries, its exact whereabouts remained a mystery, until 11 years ago when, as a result of extensive evidence gathering, an archaeological dig took place in a city centre council carpark - and Richard's remains were discovered. He was reburied at Leicester Cathedral in 2015.

The new play – Gregory’s stage debut - will receive its world premiere at Prescot before transferring to Bury St Edmunds.

Richard, My Richard is at Shakespeare North Playhouse from March 8-30 2024. Tickets HERE


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