(Lyn Gardner’s article appeared in the Guardian, 8/25.)

The storm clouds gather over England in Thomas Ostermeier’s robust production, originally seen at Berlin’s Schaubühne. Lars Eidinger stars as a mesmerising, rapping, swearing Richard; an outsider who seizes centre stage with relish, caressing his microphone like a rock star gone to seed.

In this 400th anniversary year of his death, the Edinburgh international festival has already featured two Shakespeare productions. Dan Jemmett’s Shake reimagined Twelfth Night as an end-of-the-pier show and Declan Donnellan presented his punchy, sinister, Russian version of Measure for Measure. Both Jemmett and Donnellan are from the UK but, like Ostermeier, they work mostly in Europe, where directors such as Ivo van Hove are reinventing these old familiar plays with real vigour and insight, unfettered by several hundred years of performance history and the reverence that afflicts so much Shakespeare produced in England.


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