Get ready for some bloody good fun! The Southwest Shakespeare Company will end its sixteenth season with the bard’s Richard III featuring Bo Foxworth in the title role. The production opens next week on Thursday, April 22 in the Nesbitt/Elliot Playhouse Theater at Mesa Arts Center and will continue performances through May 8.
Richard III is widely considered to be one of Shakespeare’s greatest plays. It is the final piece to focus on the Wars of the Roses, the devastating conflict that raged between the royal houses of York and Lancaster for control of the English throne in the fifteenth century. It follows the bard’s Henry trilogy: Henry VI, parts one through three.
The play follows the Machiavellian rise to power and subsequent brief two year reign of Richard (1452-1485). It is a story of good and evil. Shakespeare’s tragedy depicts a man who’s malevolence, shocking brutality and corruption was tempered with an irresistible charm and wit, a man who’s remains a paradox even to this day.
Dawn Rochelle Tucker (Lady Anne) and Bo Foxworth photo by Larry Stone
One of the central themes of Richard III is the idea that evil begets evil and is ultimately punished by evil, an evil governed by fate. Elizabethan Protestant ideas put forth that historical events are pre-determined by God, who may choose to punish evil with even more conspicuous evil.
Shakespeare most probably drew his inspiration in creating his royal character and story from Sir Thomas More’s account of Richard as a criminal and tyrant. There was also what was called “The Tudor Myth” which postulated that, through Richard III, God was rectifying His curse on England for the unjust deposition of Richard II in 1399. The bloody death of Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field, the decisive battle of the War of the Roses, ends the blood line of the House of York and the Plantagenet dynasty. With Richard‘s death, God has purged England of her inherited sins and has allowed the Tudor Dynasty to bring and end to the Middle Ages and begin a new “Golden Age.”
Ryan Webb (York) Jonah Carlson (Edward) and Foxwroth photo by Larry Stone
Richard III is directed by SW Shakespeare Company Artistic Director Jared Sakren. Sakren warns us, “This is going to be one thrilling ride. Frightening, fast, action-packed and an all-too-chilling look into the black maw of evil. Not for the faint-hearted.”
All production photos courtesy of SW Shakespeare Company.
For information regarding ticket availbiltity and/or performance schedule, please contact the SW Shakespeare Company Box Office directly, either by phone at (480) 644 6500 or ON LINE.
SW Shakespeare Company at Mesa Arts Center One East Main Street Mesa 85201