Richard, My Richard: Philippa Gregory's 'nuanced portrait' of Richard III is heavy on the history

Women are centre stage but play has 'something of a structural problem'

Jennifer Matter and Matt Concannon, surrounded by other cast members in Richard, My Richard at Shakespeare North Playhouse
Jennifer Matter and Matt Concannon in Richard, My Richard at Shakespeare North Playhouse in Prescot, near Liverpool
(Image credit: Patch Dolan)

In her first play, historical novelist Philippa Gregory "seeks to offer a nuanced portrait of the last Plantagenet king", in contrast to Shakespeare's "depiction of a deformed outsider who settles on evil as the most effective way of achieving the crown".

Shakespeare's plays have, of course, made a "huge impact on contemporary views of history", said The Times, and until recently it was "impossible to detach the real-life figure of Richard III from the playwright's 'foul bunch-back'd toad'". Gregory's Richard, played by Kyle Rowe, is "mercifully" freed from the "distastefully demonic hunched back", said The Telegraph.

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