CN&CO is proud to be associated with the Shakespeare Society of Southern Africa, which aims (among other things) to make the works of William Shakespeare more accessible to more people. And so, from time to time, we will report on this blog about Bardy stuff that’s happening around Mzansi as well as beyond our borders. This one’s about a production of Richard III opening today, 7 February 2019, at Maynardville in Cape Town. 

Shakespeare loved writing wicked kings, didn’t he? The scheming, gnarled, sometimes comic Richard III totally fits the bill in this regard. Here in South Africa (and, in fact, in most places around the world) we’ve seen our fair share of shenanigans in the upper echelons of political power in recent times. And so the Maynardville production of Richard III may not have too much shock value. But it does promise to be a superb show with a plot and loads of sub-plots that ring true.

Director Geoffrey Hyland sums it up nicely: “Shakespeare’s musings on self-interested power and twisted ambition continue to resonate today. Richard III is the timeless and universal story of the rise and fall of one of Shakespeare’s most thrilling and charismatic villains. Through rumour, fake news and false narratives, with a devilish wit and fuelled by revenge, Richard aims at the crown and destroys all who stand in his way, including those closest to him.”

This production stars award-winning actor Alan Committie in the title role, with Anthea Thompson as Queen Margaret, Lee-Ann van Rooi as the Duchess of York, Andrew Laubscher as the Duke of Buckingham, Bianca Mannie as Lady Anne, Cassandra Mapanda as Queen Elizabeth, Sanda Shandu as Richmond, David Viviers as Lord Hastings, and Cape Talk’s John Maytham as Lord Stanley. Matthew Bobby Stuurman, Tailyn Ramsay, Damon Munn, Tafara Nyatsanza and Sam Alexander also appear in the ensemble. (The pic of the cast on the left was taken by Jesse Kramer.) 

Richard III forms part of the second Maynardville Open-Air Festival, featuring a programme of music, dance, comedy and more, under the stars. It’s a great opportunity to gather your friends, pack a picnic basket and soak up the magic of Maynardville.

Richard III runs Mondays to Saturdays from until 9 March 2019 at 8.15pm. Tickets cost from R150 to R220. Bookings can be made online at Computicket, or call 0861 915 8000 or visit at any Shoprite Checkers outlet.

This article was originally published on the ShakespeareZA blog as Something wickedly Shakespearean has piqued the interest of Colin Ford, resident word nerd at CN&CO …

Header image: Alan Committie stars in the title role of Richard III. Photo by Maggie Gericke.

Read more about our association with SSOSA.