I went to see a Ryerson Theatre School production of Richard III last night and was completely blown away. It's a modern telling, directed by Canadian dramaturge Ruth Madoc-Jones, who mentions in the program notes that she was influenced by "A Clockwork Orange, The Godfather movies, and an 80s high fashion, high power ethos". It works. I was up half the night thinking about what the 2000 version of Hamlet (Ethan Hawke/Julia Stiles) would have been like in her hands.
Costumes and staging were done with inspired style by Patrick Du Wors. As a lifelong costume fanatic, I'm pretty merciless with wardrobe criticism, but there is nothing I can say about this neo-gothic extravaganza except 'go see it'. Wear something by Rick Owens or Helmut Lang perhaps to get in the mood. I haven't even gotten to the acting yet. Jonathan Sousa leads in the title role, but it's a cast of 19 people, all of whom performed brilliantly. If television roles were given to actors of similar talent (excluding certain shows on HBO and Showtime...), I might actually buy a tv.
The only criticism I have is that this play has been shamefully underpublicized. I'm badgering the marketing people with letters because it drives me crazy that so much work has gone into a production so few people are coming out to. If you're in Toronto, I highly recommend making time for Richard III before it closes on Feb. 11th. I'm going again on Monday - hope to see you there...
8 pm - 11:15 pm at the Ryerson Theatre (43 Gerrard St., College subway). $18 regular, $14 students (cash only).