Northern Broadsides’ Richard III comes to Hull and Halifax

Mat Fraser, Richard Standing

Photograph credited to Nobby Clark

In celebration of the 25th anniversary of Northern Broadsides, the company returns to their roots, collaborating with Hull’s status as UK City of Culture 2017, bringing Richard III to Hull Truck Theatre this May.

Documenting Richard of Gloucester’s cunning rise to the throne, this Shakespearean classic promises love, war, ghosts and an unrivalled bodycount. England, torn between the houses of York and Lancaster, is an unstable state, thrown further into chaos under Richard’s tyrannical lead. Manipulating everyone in his path with silver-tongued charm, Richard is the villain that audiences hate, then respect and perhaps even learn to love.

This production illuminates the play’s pervasive themes of history, monarchy, and a battle against disability, in its very essence. Harking historically to Northern Broadsides’ first ever production of Richard III in 1992, we can expect some of the very same cast! Directed by Northern Broadsides royalty (founder and artistic director, Barrie Rutter OBE) with an esteemed disabled actor, Mat Fraser, in the title role.

Mat’s career has keenly focused on the presentation of disability on stage and film, thus this version of Richard III can be expected to draw upon the often overlooked aspect of the play. Disability is a relevant topic for us all, even if uncertain monarchy and sword fighting seem a little alien.

Alongside Mat, the production’s enthusiastic sixteen-strong cast will play multiple parts, with those returning from the original 1992 production experimenting with new roles and even the director will take to the stage. 

The production will run at Hull Truck Theatre from the 4 – 27 May as part of Hull UK City of Culture 2017 and then at Viaduct Theatre, Halifax from the 30 May – 3 June.