Young Vic Theatre, London SE1
Opened 24 April, 2001

Aidan McArdle's Richard is a blunter, more savage villain than usual, but it works a treat in this final part of the RSC's tetralogy.

McArdle's Richard is not afraid to shout at people even in the midst of evilly persuading them to trust him; he woos the Lady Anne, whose husband he killed, by grabbing her hair and forcing her up against a huge steel door, It is amazing that any of those around him ever doubt for a moment that this man's wicked ambitions are utterly unbounded. And yet he retains an infectious, infernal glee at his stratagems which carries us along without questioning why he is allowed to advance as far as he is.

Richard Cordery's Duke of Buckingham is the pinnacle of urbane treachery. Fiona Bell's Margaret of Anjou comes into her own with her grief-maddened speech to the other bereaved women left in Richard's wake. In a discreet touch of dynastic casting, the Earl of Richmond, later Henry VII, is played (and well played) by Sam Troughton, whose father David had played his distant predecessor Henry IV earlier in the season.

Richard Crookback is always an appealing devil of a character, and McArdle, in the climax of Michael Boyd's four-part production, does him full satanic justice.

Written for

Copyright © Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.

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