Richard III on Broadway Reviews
‘Twelfth Night’ and ‘Richard III,’ theater reviews - Score: 10
From: NY Daily News By: Joe Dziemianowicz Publication Date: 11/10/2013
In “Richard III,” Joseph Timms and Liam Brennan stand out, respectively, as Lady Anne and the doomed Clarence.
Twelfth Night and Richard III - Score: 10
From: Time Out NY By: David Cote Publication Date: 11/10/2013
There are many insults hurled at the hunched back of Richard of Gloucester (later to game his way to the throne as Richard III): Most of the taunts are animal-based (toad, boar, dog). No one, however, calls him a dummy. In Mark Rylance’s innovative, sickly comic turn, Richard simpers like a royal family’s idiot son. Dull-eyed and slack-jawed, the wretch’s withered left arm is pinned to his side, the paralyzed hand the size of a toddler’s (the actor wears a repulsive prosthetic). Of course, the I, Claudius act is just a front for bloody ambition. Richard is always good for a few nasty chuckles, but Rylance clowns it up shamelessly. His apish glee upon seducing the mourning Lady Anne (Joseph Timms) is almost infectious. And his shrimpy skittering is contrasted nicely by Angus Wright’s strapping, manly Buckingham, the lord who helps Richard murder and slander his way to the crown.
Rylance Triumphs As Evil King, Mournful Countess: Stage - Score: 10
From: Bloomberg By: Jeremy Gerard Publication Date: 11/10/2013
His Richard crows with glee at every lethal lie, venomous kiss, broken promise. Rylance has mastered each of Richard’s 1,171 lines and adds guffaws, asides, stutters and winces.
First Nighter: Mark Rylance and Company's Superb Richards III and Twelfth Night - Score: 9
From: Huffington Post By: David Finkle Publication Date: 11/10/2013
It's not news that the ill-formed nobleman can be funny as he stops at nothing while maneuvering himself to be crowned king -- and, when, on the throne, still isn't satisfied. But Rylance compounds the fun by turning into a Richard of York who unabashedly giggles at his own jokes while he strides about with a decided limp and never using his withered and gloved left hand. Plotting to eliminate all competitors, this Richard frequently emits room-shaking guffaws at what he's getting up to. At one point, he literally crooks (pun intended) a finger at the audience to join him in his merry malevolence.
Broadway Review: ‘Richard III/Twelfth Night’ - Score: 9
From: Variety By: Marilyn Stasio Publication Date: 11/10/2013
The secret villain that Rylance unmasks in Richard’s soliloquies also goes against the grain, an assassin consumed less by envy and hatred of his victims than loathing for his own twisted self. It isn’t political ambition but psychic pain that compels him to destroy all the people who genuinely love him, among them his brother Clarence (Liam Brennan, a manly Orsino in “Twelfth Night” and here a most poetic murder victim); his nephews, the young Princes in the Tower; and, most fatefully, his loyal partner in dark deeds, the Duke of Buckingham, played by Angus Wright in full, sonorous voice (at least, on those nights when he isn’t making a wonderful honking fool of Sir Andrew Aguecheek in “Twelfth Night.”) In the end, Richard has no one left to hate but himself, which he finally acknowledges in his last soul-baring soliloquy (“Alack, I love myself / Alas, I rather hate myself”) on the eve of battle at Bosworth field.
Yesterday at 10:00 PM 3Comments Theater Review: Say What You Will About Twelfth Night and Richard III - Score: 9
From: Vulture By: Jesse Green Publication Date: 11/10/2013
Rylance is also the comic engine of Richard III, but the success of that unusual choice is more equivocal. Certainly Richard is amused by his own depravity; after murdering Lady Anne’s husband and father, and prettily getting her to marry him anyway, he instantly gloats: “Was ever woman in this humour woo’d? / Was ever woman in this humour won?” But Rylance takes from such cues an idea of Richard as a grotesque glad-hander, an audience whisperer of Al Jolson proportions. He grubs for laughter, plays up his self-pitying streak as a ruse we are all in on. He’s perfectly happy to pimp his deformity, here rendered as a slightly warped leg and a tiny withered hand hanging from a palsied wrist like a brace of deflated balloons. You may think of Kristen Wiig’s demented Dooneese Boylan character.
Review: Mark Rylance shines in 2 Shakespeare parts - Score: 9
From: Associated Press By: Mark Kennedy Publication Date: 11/10/2013
Rylance's Richard III doesn't have the customarily slow burn into madness that others have taken. There are times it's hard to separate him from a buffoon, bumbling about like a twit with oddly little charisma. He gets laughs — but not scared ones — for delivering such lines as "He cannot live" and "I'll have her; but I will not keep her long" ("What?" he asks the audience in a humorous aside).
Twelfth Night/Richard III: Theater Review - Score: 9
From: Hollywood Reporter By: David Rooney Publication Date: 11/10/2013
Limping around with his hump hidden under a cloak and a gammy, shriveled hand pinned uselessly across his chest, Rylance’s Richard deliberately flirts with caricature. He approaches the ruthless climber as an unlovable runt, crippled as much by bitterness as by his deformities. Playing shamelessly to the crowd with his halting speech and false air of self-pity, he makes the audience complicit in every vile deed that Richard executes or orchestrates. Only deep into the action after he has seized the crown does the pathos of his victims alert us to the blood on our hands.
STAGE REVIEW Twelfth Night - Score: 9
From: Entertainment Weekly By: Thom Geier Publication Date: 11/10/2013
Rylance plays the humpbacked and murderous conniver Richard III with much the same comic brio — he pats his shriveled (fake) baby hand when he speaks of being 'rudely stamp'd' and 'not shaped for sportive tricks,' then during his coronation flashes both thumbs up and whips his oversize cape about in childlike triumph. His Richard, while consistently entertaining, throws the play's more tragic elements somewhat off-balance, particularly in the many (more serious) scenes when he's off stage. Still, Rylance exquisitely manages Richard's tricky seduction of Lady Anne (Joseph Timms), whose husband and father-in-law he has killed. And there's a delicious crackle to the late scenes with Barnett's Queen Elizabeth, who responds to Richard's entreaties to woo her own daughter with a bold and surprising response. (No spoilers here.)
'Twelfth Night' and 'Richard III' review: Top-notch event theater - Score: 9
From: Newsday By: Linda Winer Publication Date: 11/10/2013
"Twelfth Night" is the centerpiece that gives the most chances for nuanced sexuality and comic delight. In "Richard," Rylance chooses to play a villain who dissembles as a joking bumpkin, his guileless eyes betrayed by sinister eyebrows. Still, an almost cuddly Richard, despite his creepily effective dead and withered hand, lowers the stakes of the tragedy.
Theater review: 'Twelfth Night' and 'Richard III' - Score: 9
From: NorthJersey.com By: Robert Feldberg Publication Date: 11/10/2013
While this is the most amusing "Richard" I've ever seen, it's important to emphasize that it's not a burlesque. It's Shakespeare's play, as Rylance and director Tim Carroll conceive it.
Boys Will Be Boys (and Sometimes Girls) - Score: 8
From: New York Times By: Ben Brantley Publication Date: 11/10/2013
Only in the second half, do we fully realize we’re in the ice-cold company of a madman. I won’t tell you how Mr. Rylance achieves this, except to say that in switching between what he seems to be and what he is, this Richard has stripped his own gears. He ends up in limbo, without a part to play.
Mark Rylance leads all-male casts in new Shakespeare shows - Score: 8
From: NY Post By: Elisabeth Vincentelli Publication Date: 11/10/2013
This show belongs to Rylance. His Richard uses his deformity to look pathetic and better manipulate his victim — watch him make people uncomfortable with his atrophied hand, which hangs from his cape like a mummified monkey paw. Acting like a sad, bumbling clown, Richard gets laughs. It’s a fascinating choice, even if we lose a lot of Richard’s evil edge.
Review: "Twelfth Night," "Richard III" Offer Shakespeare for the Purist - Score: 8
From: NBC New York By: Robert Kahn Publication Date: 11/10/2013
Viewers of the Netflix political drama “House of Cards” might detect the influence of Richard III on Kevin Spacey’s Frank Underwood (Spacey appeared as an energetic Richard III at BAM last year): Richard’s ruthless scheming, shameless manipulation and direct asides to the audience as he confides to us his monstrous plans pretty much set the bar for the cold-blooded quest for political power.
Mark Rylance romps through two new Shakespeare stagings - Score: 7
From: USA Today By: Elysa Gardner Publication Date: 11/10/2013
Rylance's Richard, if undoubtedly compelling, is more challenging. He bellows the famous opening words — "Now is the winter of our discontent" — with a curious giddiness that quickly dissolves into sardonic self-loathing. Laughing nervously at himself, Rylance can make the murderous madman seem as wilted in spirit as he is physically.