If you enjoy Shakespearean plays, you will be interested in Richard III at Stratford Theatre this season. It’s an extraordinary production on several levels. It moves seamlessly between current day and the 1400s; the set is minimalist and effective; the costumes for Richard depict his scoliosis. And while I appreciate that it takes a cast of fine actors to put on this play, Colm Feore’s portrayal of Richard III is exceptional. There wasn’t a moment that I didn’t savour, and that included the intermission: Richard III is performed in the new Tom Patterson Theatre. The envelope surrounding the actual theatre is architecturally stunning, light-filled and spacious.
On a personal note, I enjoyed seeing André Sills in role as the Duke of Buckingham. I’ve been following this fine actor since 2016 when I first saw him at the Shaw in Master Harold and the Boys and then again in Octoroon. There have been several plays since then, both at Shaw and Stratford. and I make a point of booking any play that he is cast in. It was also a pleasure to see Christo Graham in the role of the Duke of Norfolk. Christo came to my attention as the young and brazen Jerry Lee Lewis in The Million Dollar Quartet at Theatre Aquarius. I’m pleased to see him at Stratford and look forward to watching his career develop.
The first play I attended at the old Tom Patterson theatre was about the last monarch of the House of Tudor, Elizabeth Rex by Timothy Findley, so it seemed fitting that my first play in the new theatre was about another monarch, the last one from the House of York. The space in between these two productions was well-filled. I look forward to many more evenings at the Tom Patterson Theatre.
Bonnie Lendrum is the author of Autumn’s Grace, the story of how one family manages the experience of palliative care with hope and humour despite sibling conflicts, generational pulls and career demands. Autumn’s Grace is a powerful commentary on the need for well-organized and well-funded palliative care in private homes and in residential hospices. It’s a gift to people who would like to be prepared as they help fulfill the final wishes of a family member or friend.
Photo by David Hou. Colm Feore (centre) as Richard III with André Sills as Duke of Buckingham and members of the company in Richard III.
©2022, Bonnie L. Lendrum, All rights reserved.