Richard II (BAM)
Closed 2h 55m
Richard II (BAM)
88

Richard II (BAM) NYC Reviews and Tickets

88%
(50 Reviews)
Positive
98%
Mixed
2%
Negative
0%
Members say
Great acting, Absorbing, Great staging, Ambitious, Intelligent

About the Show

BAM, the Royal Shakespeare Company, and Ohio State University present the first of Shakespeare's four plays about the House of Lancaster.

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Member Reviews (50)

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965 Reviews | 339 Followers
85
Ambitious, Intelligent, Great writing, Great staging, Great acting

See it if you want to experience the best of RSC at BAM. Tennant is terrific. Many fine speeches and strong characterizations! Impressive rhymes.

Don't see it if the Shakesp histories don't appeal to you. Even in a smart, updated version, the language is challenging.

677 Reviews | 152 Followers
82
Intelligent, Clever, Ambitious, Great acting, Disappointing

See it if You like the bard done in a traditional manner, hearing Shakespeare spoken by Englusg actors, are a fan of David Tennant, like the histories

Don't see it if You have trouble understanding iambic pentameter, traditional stagings bore you, not a fan of the histories, find the bard hard to follow

406 Reviews | 188 Followers
98
Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Riveting, Funny

See it if You love Shakespeare or epic power struggles To see a masterful performance by David Tenant and company once in a lifetime

Don't see it if You do not like classical drama or cannot decipher an intricate plot Have no appreciation for excellence

Nic
386 Reviews | 84 Followers
83
Great acting, Slow, Intelligent, Slightly boring, Masterful

See it if you love David Tennant or Richard II. You'll enjoy his take on the role, supported by a comparably strong cast.

Don't see it if you can't get past thinking this is one of Shakespeare's most boring plays. Or if you can't get a ticket.

206 Reviews | 59 Followers
95
Ambitious, Great acting, Epic, Masterful, Great staging

See it if you want to see an extraordinary performance of the title role.

Don't see it if you are not fond of Shakespeare's history plays.

178 Reviews | 279 Followers
91
Moving, Great acting, Great staging, Stellar title performance, Must see

See it if You want to see tour de force interpretation of a challenging role (Richard) by David Tennant. The renunciation scene was masterfully moving

Don't see it if You dislike Shakespeare and can't sit through a long play with 2-3 bits that drag (about 20 min total).

195 Reviews | 101 Followers
90
Ambitious, Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Must see

See it if You love David Tennant and/or Shakespeare at all. The acting is top notch. The set is not only gorgeous, but entirely useful to the story.

Don't see it if You really don't feel like brushing up on the Hollow Crown history beforehand. Knowing who's who just helps you relax into the actual play.

197 Reviews | 73 Followers
92
Great acting, Great staging, Masterful, Absorbing, Overlong

See it if you love Shakespeare, David Tennant, or the RSC. Tennant not only carries this beautiful production, he makes it soar.

Don't see it if you can't sit for three hours focusing hard on Shakespearean dialogue.

Critic Reviews (24)

The New York Times
April 4th, 2016

"This Richard is notably effeminate and moves suddenly between sighing boredom and fits of angry petulance. Mr. Tennant speaks the verse with elegant grace and clarity...Are we to believe that Richard’s growing awareness of his vulnerable humanity...is a direct result of his sexual awakening? This seems reductive, and has a modestly deflating effect on both a fine performance and a fine production...All in all, there isn’t a false or hollow rendering of any character in these productions."
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Time Out New York
April 6th, 2016

"David Tennant is thrilling as Richard II, the vain and insecure ruler who acquires depth and dignity on his descent to deposition and death. Audiences used to seeing Tennant reel off 'Doctor Who' banter will be impressed by how musical and crystalline he renders Richard’s exquisitely lyrical, glittering laments."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
April 6th, 2016

"Its interpretive work is instead done almost exclusively on a conceptual level, and achieved through the acting...This kind of quiet rethinking works best in 'Richard II,' which is to my mind the best of the plays...Tennant, a longtime Shakespearean, naturally has the vocal skills to get the text across smoothly, but his exceptional wit is what makes his performance the standout of the Henriad...Without that wit the verbal intricacy of the text becomes laborious instead of beautiful."
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The Hollywood Reporter
April 3rd, 2016

"Royal Shakespeare Company artistic director Gregory Doran's staging of 'Richard II' is most notable for the supple playfulness of David Tennant's performance...The U.S. stage debut of the brilliant Scottish actor doesn't disappoint...Not every aspect of the production is as sharp...The women are also weak, not helped by a drama that already marginalizes them...But the commandingly eccentric center of the production is Tennant."
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Entertainment Weekly
April 13th, 2016

"Tennant is a natural as the unnatural king. (Plus: rendering Richard as a Christ-like figure – The white robe! The 12 apostle-like subjects, every one a Judas! The platform that carries him heavenward after his death! – evokes an unexpected strain of sympathy.)...If you have 12 hours to spare, you won’t regret it one bit."
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AM New York
April 4th, 2016

"Meant for those who like to see Shakespeare plays performed by a seasoned cast, in a traditional style, with lavish production values and without any cuts to the text...Gregory Doran (artistic director of the RSC) stages the entire cycle with liveliness, medieval flair and textual clarity, bringing out multilayered performances from his large cast, many of whom appear in multiple plays...Standouts include David Tennant’s self-loving and dangerously naive Richard."
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Theatermania
April 13th, 2016

"In this excellent production (helmed by RSC artistic director Gregory Doran), national mythology takes center stage...Tennant plays a sniveling, foppish Richard, whose arbitrary judgment and cavalier disregard for the rights of his vassals seem directly related to his outsize sense of divine entitlement...As he loses his kingdom, Tennant makes us feel a strange mixture of amusement and pity."
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TheaterScene.net
April 20th, 2016

“Performed in rotating repertory with a cast of 31 accomplished British actors who continue in their roles in each play in which their characters appear, the four productions all by Gregory Doran, artistic director of the RSC, are lucid, absorbing and accessible. Whether you get to see the plays in chronological order or just one of these stand-alone plays, you will have an unforgettable experience in drama, history and Shakespeare.”
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