I. Love. Live. Theatre.
Honestly, that’s the most fun I’ve had out in a long, long time, and I’m so thrilled to have gone. Seriously, if you have a chance, I know some tickets are still available. Go. Just make it happen.
So the negative first: Mr Twitchy in front of me and Ms Giggly behind. Honey, that wasn’t a funny line. This is serious. Hush. And you—do your callisthenics before going to the theatre!
Other than that, I have only good things to say.
Whoever said Martin Freeman was miscast as Richard III must have accidentally wandered into a different theatre or slept through this production, because Mr Freeman was fantastic. I’ll admit, I was a little preoccupied throughout the production by his dodgy arm and understated hump, but partly, I’ll admit, because I was waiting for that arm to break character and twitch (I have a personal problem where I get nervous for live actors falling or forgetting lines, no matter how professional!). But Martin was masterful. His Richard is subtle in characterisation—cool, calculating, contained, not the mad and frightening Richards I’ve seen previously, and I liked the choice. And he’s surprisingly funny in moments I wasn’t expecting. His every line was delivered so naturally and in character that I honestly sometimes nearly forgot that this was Martin Freeman I was watching. I saw nothing of the Lester Nygaard, John Watson, or Bilbo Baggins in him, and that’s one of the things that impresses me so much about him. He absolutely inhabits his characters, and one can’t help but be riveted by him.
But that’s the other thing: Martin isn’t a scene-stealer. He might be the ‘biggest name’ in the production, but within the context of the play, he and his fellow cast members are on equal footing. Gina McKee as Queen Elizabeth was particularly good (full confession: I played that role in school, eons ago), and really, and the women were phenomenal.
I enjoyed everything: the set, the 1970s time period, the elevator effects, the surprising violence (Anne’s death is not one I’ll soon forget—wow), the fight direction, the audience response, everything. I’m still riding the live-theatre high! What a night.