- New production brings the drama to 21st century Westminster
- 23 April performance marks first-ever Shakespeare play in the Palace of Westminster
- TIM DELAP (Casanova, Poldark) to play Richard
- HERMIONE GULLIFORD (Foyles War, New Tricks) to play female Bolingbroke
- Transfers to Arcola Theatre from 3 May
A new production of RICHARD II will be staged in the House of Commons on 23 April, exactly 400 years to the day of Shakespeare’s death.
The first-ever performance of a Shakespeare play in the Palace of Westminster, it will celebrate four centuries of the writer at the centre of Britain’s national culture, in the centre of its national politics.
Tim Delap will play Richard, the charismatic leader who faces a challenge from Harri Bolingbroke (Hermione Gulliford), reimagined in this new version as a female Leader of the Opposition.
Tim Delap starred in Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Casanova, and opposite Benedict Cumberbatch in the BBC’s To The Ends Of The Earth. His stage work includes The Woman in Black in the West End, UK tours of The History Boys and Regeneration, and All’s Well That Ends Well at the RSC.
Hermione Gulliford’s recent stage work includes 3 Winters and Hotel at the National Theatre. Previously she played Portia in The Merchant of Venice and Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, both at the RSC.
This new production, created by young directors Jack Gamble and Quentin Beroud, gives refreshing new life to Shakespeare’s 420-year-old verse. Scenes span from Whitehall to London City Airport. Lady Eleanor De Bohun, Duchess of Gloucester becomes Political Editor of the BBC.
Jack Gamble and Quentin Beroud said: “We want to show the ongoing power of Shakespeare’s writing to speak to new generations and modern concerns.
Staging this early masterpiece in Parliament will reveal how much Shakespeare still has to say about leadership and representation. Reworking Bolingbroke as a powerful female lead will give the play a renewed significance at a time where certain privileges still count for more than they should.
We are thrilled to be presenting the first full Shakespearian production in the country’s seat of power, and on such a special night. It will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for everyone taking part and watching.”
Only 100 tickets are available for the one-off performance in the House of Commons on St George’s Day. They are £50 each, and include drinks. Owing to high demand, they will be distributed through a ballot, open now until 3 April at shakespeareinparliament.com.
RICHARD II transfers from Westminster to East London on Tuesday 3 May, with a week-long run at Arcola Theatre.
Tickets are available now at shakespeareinparliament.com.