Hot off a country-wide tour of last year’s controversial, sold-out Melbourne Fringe show Unsex Me, creator/performer Mark Wilson attacks Shakespeare’s Richard II as part of the Darebin Arts’ Speakeasy program until 28 September.
Described by Guardian Australia as a “performer to hurry out and see”, in Richard II, Wilson portrays a God-king who realises he is human and comes out with a treasonous consanguinity of celebrity, corruption and religious self-love.
One of Shakespeare’s least performed texts, Richard II tells the story of King Richard the Second, who rules England with absolute power and is widely criticised for wasting England’s money on pointless wars and implementing unfair taxes. However, when King Richard banishes his cousin Henry Bolingbroke (the soon-to-be King Henry IV) from the kingdom, his unwittingly sets in motion a series of events that will lead to his overthrow.
A two-hander, with Olivia Monticciolo (Bell Shakespeare’s Phèdre) playing Bolingbroke, Wilson’s adaptation explores notions of celebrity, corruption and power and promises to be a thrilling, intelligent and scathing allegory for leadership in the 21st century and Australia’s own political climate.
Recently selected as an International Fellow at Shakespeare’s Globe, Wilson’s controversial hit Unsex Me at last year’s Melbourne Fringe saw him perform to sell-out crowds around the country. Along with Unsex Me, a dissection of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Wilson is fast proving himself one of the foremost Shakespeare dramatists in Australia.
Richard II is presented by MKA: Theatre of New Writing and Darebin Arts’ Speakeasy program as part of the 2014 Melbourne Fringe Festival.
Writer: Mark Wilson Creators / Performers: Mark Wilson & Olivia Monticciolo Set & Costume Designer: Amaya Vecellio Costume Maker: Karla Lighting Designer: Kris Chainey Stage & Production Manager: Ketura Budd
Northcote Town Hall, High Street, Northcote
Season continues to 28 September 2014
Bookings: (03) 9481 9500 or online at: www.darebinarts.com.au/speakeasy
Image: Mark Wilson in Richard II – photo by Sarah Walker