Power-crazed misogyny. Retinue named for Arcola’s anarchic Richard III

Greg Hicks as Richard III. Image Alex Brenner

King Edward is on the throne, and England is at peace. But don’t worry – it won’t be that way for long.

Gripping and outrageous, Shakespeare’s Richard III is the tale of a ruthless, power-crazed prince who lies and cheats his way to the highest seat in the land.

A retinue of top class names have been announced to join Greg Hicks as the Shakespearean bad boy in the Arcola Theatre’s thrilling new production of Richard III next month.

Following his celebrated performances as Macbeth, Julius Caesar, Coriolanus and King Lear for the Royal Shakespeare Company, RSC associate artist Greg Hicks takes on the role of the tyrant king.

Hicks was nominated for the Best Actor Olivier Award, and won Best Shakespearean Performance at the Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards, for playing the title role in Coriolanus at the Old Vic.

He is returning to Arcola Theatre having previously played Morris Honeyspoon in two sold-out acclaimed runs of Clarion, Dr Thomas Stockmann in An Enemy of the People (both directed by Arcola artistic director Mehmet Ergen) and The Kreutzer Sonata.

The rest of the cast are: Jane Bertish who played an M15 Director in Charlie Brooker’s Netflix series, Black Mirror: Hated in the Nation, and was last seen on stage in In The Depths of Dead Love at the Print Room.

Jim Bywater who co-starred with Greg Hicks in Clarion and was in The Cherry Orchard and The Lower Depths (all at Arcola).

Jamie de Courcey is in The Crown, on Netflix, Six Wives and Taboo. His recent films include playing van Gogh in Vincent van Gogh – A New Way of Seeing. On stage he recently appeared at The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse in Every Man Out of His Humour – Read not Dead.

Femi Elufowoju Jr has performed extensively at the National Theatre, Royal Court Theatre and Theatre Royal Stratford East. He was in Out of Blixen at The Print Room, and in Lion Boy at the Tricycle and on Broadway.

Annie Firbank is a veteran of seasons at Stratford-upon-Avon, Royal Court, Prospect Company, Actor’s Company, Stratford (Ontario), and the National Theatre. She was recently in Oresteia (Almeida) and The Crucible (Old Vic).

Peter Guinness has recently been seen on TV in Lucky Man, Critical, Strike Back and DaVinci’s Demons. On stage he was in After Independence (Arcola) and Claudius in Hamlet at Glasgow Citizens Theatre.

Mark Jax has been in several RSC productions, including King John, A Soldier In Every Son, and Edward IV and several NT productions including Pravda, The Government Inspector and The Futurists.

Paul Kemp was Professor Goodman in Ghost Stories in the West End and Smee in Wendy and Peter Pan (Royal Shakespeare Company).

Sara Powell can currently be seen at the Arcola in The Plague. She has also appeared in The Crucible (Old Vic), Disgraced (Bush), Macbeth (Almeida).

Georgina Rich was Portia in The Merchant of Venice (RSC) and was in Rabbit Hole (Hampstead) and Between Us (Arcola).

Matthew Sim was in the film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. On stage his previous Shakespearean roles have included Prospero in The Tempest, Duncan in Macbeth, Mark Antony in Julius Caesar and Edward Plantagenet in Richard III and Saint Joan (NT).

Richard III which will be directed by Mehmet Ergen, runs at the Arcola Theatre, East London, from May 11-June 6.

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