Buy Tickets From the 2016-2017 Season: Richard The Third Playing June 17, 2017 to July 02, 2017

A Suzi Bass Awards Recommended Show

Andrew Houchins

The deceptive and sadistic Richard, Duke of Gloucester stops at nothing to become King. With intelligence, political brilliance, and dazzling use of language, he keeps his subjects and rivals under his thumb…. you might even start to feel a little pressure yourself. Don’t miss this engaging continuation of Shakespeare’s history plays.

A part of The Shakespeare Evolution Series!

Join the cast and crew members for a lively Question and Answer session on Sunday June 18 after the show!\

Artistic Director Jeff Watkins and Tavern actor Andrew Houchins stopped by City Lights to talk to Lois Reitzes about Richard the Third!

Read the Plot Synopsis

Synopsis for Richard III
-from The Pocket Companion to Shakespeare’s Plays by J.C. Trewin

The First Quarto summarizes the play: “The Tragedy of King Richard the Third, Containing, His treacherous Plots against his brother Clarence: the pittiefull murther of his innocent nephews: his tyrannical usurpation: with the whole course of this detested life, and most deserved death.”
Shakespeare has no more dramatic opening than that, in a London street, of “Richard Duke of Gloucester, solus”. Today, a society exists to clear Richard’s name and to prove that historians (especially Sir Thomas More in a section of Halle’s chronicle) vilified him in the Tudor cause. Still, little can soften the impact of Shakespeare’s blazing melodrama, and the first scene soliloquy that begins, “Now is the winter of our discontent/Made glorious summer by this sun of York”, and goes on to an unflinching resolve, “I am determined to prove a villain/And hate the idle pleasures of these days.” Richard has to dispose of the six people between him and the throne when his dying brother, Edward IV, has gone. When he takes the crown, he has removed only one of them: the others he will deal with later.
First comes the dissimulation with his elder brother, the Duke of Clarence. By playing on Edwards’s fears he has Clarence sent to the Tower. Having seen this done and affected great concern, he meets the bearers of the coffin of Henry VI (the King he murdered), followed by Henry’s daughter-in-law, Lady Anne, whose husband he and his brothers had killed at Tewkesbury. Out of mischief or masochism, or both, he woos her over the coffin. She yields, and Richard gloats; Next, he stirs trouble at court while the former Queen Margaret – who, unhistorically, still prowls about – releases some of her fiercest invective: “Thou elvish-mark’d, abortive, rooting hog”, “That bottled spider”, “This poisonous hunchback’d toad.” Clarence, by Richard’s order (and despite a royal pardon), is murdered in the Tower and his corpse pushed into a butt of malmsey (sweet wine).
Overwhelmed by Clarence’s death, King Edward dies; the young Prince of Wales is to be brought from Ludlow. By then Richard and his associates, notably Buckingham, have begun to direct affairs as they wish. When the Prince arrives he and his younger brother, the Duke of York, are “lodged” in the Tower, presumably until the coronation. Various men of the Queen’s party, dangerous to Richard, are executed, among them at a few minutes’ notice the rash Lord Hastings. Buckingham, primed, gets the Lord Mayor and citizens of London to urge an apparently unwilling Richard to accept the throne. Once crowned, Richard does all he can to safeguard himself, such as inciting Tyrrel to procure the death of the Princes in the Tower; forsaking his wife whose end is merely suggested; and proposing, though this does not take place, to wed his niece, Edward IV’s daughter Elizabeth. Buckingham revolts against him, raising an army; Henry, Earl of Richmond, lands from France. Richard, environed by enemies, must fight to keep the throne.
He goes to battle when he meets the invader at Bosworth Field near Leicester. Buckingham has been captured and executed; but Richmond is the first danger. After a night during which Richmond has fair dreams and Richard is harassed by the ghosts of his victims – conscience is a dominant theme in the play – he fights desperately only to be defeated and killed. All ends with Richmond’s decision to marry Elizabeth: “We will unite the white rose and the red,/Smile heaven upon this fair conjunction.”

Director's Notes

Directed by Jeff Watkins

Show Information


Act One: 60 minutes / 15 minute intermission / Act Two: 60 minutes / 5 minute break / Act Three: 60 minutes (Show will end at approx. 10:30pm/9:30pm Sundays)

Show Roles

Performances June 17-July 2, 2017

King Edward– Matt Nitchie
Richard, Duke of Gloucester (later King Richard III) – Andrew Houchins
Duke of Buckingham – Maurice Ralston
Stanley – Troy Willis
Clarence, Norfolk – Nick Faircloth
Lady Anne – Kirstin Calvert
Henry VI, Catesby – Mary Ruth Ralston
Hastings – Vinnie Mascola
Rivers, Oxford – Peter Hardy
Ratcliffe – David Sterritt
Lovel, Herbert, – Charlie Thomas
Prince Richard, Bishop Ely, Dorset, Urswick – Ashley Anderson
Brakenbury, Richmond (later King Henry VII) – Sean Kelly
Duchess – Ellen McQueen
Elizabeth – Laura Cole
Queen Margaret – Amee Vyas
Blunt, Grey – J. Tony Brown

Show Times
In general, shows at The Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse begin at 7:30pm, except on Sundays, when they begin at 6:30pm.

Bardometer Rating

How difficult is this Shakespearean play to grasp? On a scale of 1 to 10.
What does rating this mean?

These are plays you may have read in high school or college. The plot is fairly uncomplicated, though some of the themes may be dense or dark. These plays may include supernatural elements, straight-forward politics, historical content or religious content. In these plays, there may also be bawdy language and certain adult situations. If we feel a show contains a plethora of Graphic Elizabethan Poetry (or is very bloody/violent/triggering) we will put that disclaimer in the blurb about the show.

Note for all plays: The performers of The Atlanta Shakespeare Company are specially trained to make Shakespeare’s text and intention clear, no matter the plot or the subject matter. They know precisely how to get to the emotional core of each line, each moment, each scene. We promise you will understand everything! Leave the heavy lifting to us!

Additional Information