Richard II

by William Shakespeare | Thalia Theater Hamburg 2009
Thalia Theater Hamburg

Richard II, in essence the story of a man who loses his kingdom yet gains his soul, is told in this "monologue for an actor", beginning at the end of his demise. As a subject without rights, the once mighty ruler finds himself back in prison, deposed from the usurper Bolingbroke, and alone with the reproachful voices of the past, oscillating between self-delusion and knowledge, rebellion and self-destruction. read more He lived through each stage of his bitter demise from the throne, imprisoned and abandoned by the world, and once again, the loss of his kingship forcing him to confront and be aware of his own downfall. In the bloody historical plays of Shakespeare, the world descends into murder and bloodiness. At the beginning of this descent into hell is the inevitable Fall of Man: the interruption of the accepted order by the removal of a king appointed by God. This marked Richard’s fall from favour as different from all certainties in the uncertainty of his existence, and of the exemplary awakening of his human individuality, which begins as a revolutionary discovery of the ego in the Renaissance and leads directly to the complexity and thrownness of our modern life.

"Richard II is a poor ruler and an interesting metaphysical poet. His kingship diminishes at the same rate as his poetry improves. He is a foolish king, unsuitable for the dignity with which he is dressed and he is just as much the victim of his own psyche and his extravagant poetry as the machinations of Bolingbroke."

Termine und Besetzung

Premiere on 15th November 2009
Thalia Theatre, Hamburg | Coproduction with the Ludwigsburg Festival
Guest performances: Ludwigsburg Festival, Akademietheater Wien, 2010

In an arrangement for an actor by Cornelia Rainer and Susanne Meister
From the translation of August Wilhelm Schlegel

WITH Sven-Eric Bechtolf (König Richard), Sabine Haupt (Stimme der Königin) | Stage Direction Cornelia Rainer | Stage and Costume Design Aurel Lenfert | Dramatic Adviser Susanne Meister | Compostion Wolfgang Mitterer | Lightdesign Paulus Vogt
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