Richard III

West End


Old Vic

Until Sun Sep 11 2011


Kevin Spacey © Tristrum Kenton

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5
Rate this


Add +
Critics' choice

Users say

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

3.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:0
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:0
1 person listening
Mike Danton

Erm... That image is from the Propeller production at Hampstead, not the Spacey show. The Propeller show is excellent by the way, I'm yet to compare it with the Old Vic.


This is certainly the most humorous interpretations I've ever seen but enjoyed it for that difference. The staging does an excellent job of guiding the audience through the lengthy introduction of characters and the use of 20thC technologies to illuminate those scenes hard to interpret in the modern era was, I thought, a stroke of genious on Mendes part. For a production designed to tour the world, I have no problem with the mix of accents, not least because almost all players were excellent (the only disappointment characterwise was 'Anne', who did not seem to 'inhabit' the part - in stark contrast to 'Elizabeth'). Whilst the humour and Spacey's play to that might have seemed like a Richard-lite, it's the percussion-based music that adds the necessary gravitas and dark thrill to the production. Well worth seeing.


Perfectly watchable yet curiously bland. Kevin Spacey's Richard III was evil-lite, the jocularity with which he was played didnt quite work for me, and I never really felt I'd worked out who/what he was - machiavelllian politico type with a nasty streak/very clever psychopath/plain nasty opportunist. Sorry to say I just thought Spacey lacked a certain gravitas and stage precence and dominance which is crucial for these big Shakespeare roles. It always felt like it was Kevin Spacey "doing" Richard III rather than just a performance of Richard III itself if that makes sense?! I found the fact half the cast had strong US accents quite off-putting - made it hard to just focus on the play itself when you constantly had to re-acclimatise your ears to a different accent. The guy playing Richard III's nemesis, Richmond, was particuarly jarring and I thought uber-hammy. Nevertheless, I was clearly in the minority given the standing ovation at the end. Celeb-fever or did I just completely miss something...who knows...


Saw this on Friday, 24 June. Absolutely brilliant - loved the modern staging and seeing Spacey tap into his inner villain. Be warned, very long first act!

Book theatre tickets