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Richard III (A One Woman Show) (FringeNYC)

From 8 critic and 16 member reviews
Members say: Ambitious, Absorbing, Great acting, Entertaining, Clever

About the show

Part of FringeNYC: Richard III. An Audience. Anything can happen. What part will you play? Pushing the boundaries of Shakespearean performance, Brite Theater presents their multi-award-winning one-woman show in its US premiere. "In a league of its own" ***** - Broadway Baby More…

Categories: Solo Show, Drama, International. From Brite Theater. Written by William Shakespeare, adapted by Kolbrun Bjort Sigfusdottir and Emily Carding. Directed by Kolbrun Bjort Sigfusdottir.

Pushing the boundaries of Shakespearean Performance, Brite Theater have re-imagined Richard III as a bold and engaging one-woman show. The fourth wall has been utterly obliterated, as you the audience take on the roles of all the other characters at Richard’s party in this intimate, exciting and moving production. Let Richard entertain you…but will you survive?

“A dazzling performance” **** The Stage
“In a league of its own” ***** Broadway Baby
“It packs a powerful and subversive punch” **** The List

Touring internationally and throughout the UK since May last year, this electric and innovative adaptation of Shakespeare's classic has thrilled audiences and reviewers alike. From winning all three awards at Prague Fringe 2015 to selling out shows at Edinburgh Fringe, this 'immersive' and 'captivating' performance just keeps on attracting attention and esteem. It's more than a one-person show, it's an opportunity for the audience to be part of Richard's court and they have responded with passion and vigour fit for the king.

The show started its journey in director Kolbrun Sigfusdottir's hometown of Reykjavik, where she and Emily Carding worked in residency at Tjarnarbio Theatre, creating a new adaptation of the play. Since May 2015 our immersive take on Shakespeare's masterpiece has travelled to Prague, Plymouth, Bristol, Edinburgh and most recently Rome, Verona, and Brighton, with Act Alone festival in Iceland just before we bring the show to New York Fringe this summer, for its US premiere.


"Emily Carding plays the infamous Richard III with insight and intelligence, and nails his unique blend of malice, sociopathy, and charm...but what makes the show truly shine is its interactive quality…Carding handles the variety of reactions masterfully throughout, maintaining focus on Richard and his story…It's good enough that it deserves to get a second look off-Broadway, and in my opinion ‘Richard III’ is one of the best Fringe shows in 2016." Full Review

The Highlighter

"Without anyone else saying a word, she uses body language, verbal expressions, and in general superb acting to imply what the dialogue of the other characters is supposed to be. The resulting interactions are hilarious...Carding’s Richard is a witty, conniving, elegant creature. As a whole, the production works perfectly, with the rise of the duke and fall of the king coming together in a show that never lags for a second...An absolute success.” Full Review

The New York Times

"There I was, among two dozen audience members assigned to play the other characters opposite Emily Carding, who takes on the title role in this British import. We did not have to memorize lines or even repeat them, given that Ms. Carding essentially used us as human props in the hourlong monologue adaptation she has devised. Still, it’s an entertaining way to dress up a solo outing, and Ms. Carding’s coolly psychotic king has a Tilda Swinton-esque flair." Full Review

NY Theatre Guide

"Shakespeare’s most calculating villain does all of the talking while keeping the deadly matter of succession fun. In addition to being a good host, Richard is also a great storyteller...A monologue version of ‘Richard III’ works well to start with because he always lets the audience in on what he’s thinking. With 'Richard III (A One Woman Show),’ he allows them to get closer, whether they want to or not, and it’s okay, because it also means getting closer to Shakespeare.” Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"This is 'Richard III' stripped down to its barest element—the connection between audience and actor. When Richard and the audience click, it’s electric. Emily Carding has the power to change the tone of the room with just the look of an eye...Though it has a bit of a shaky start, 'Richard III (A One Woman Show)' is an undoubtedly unique ride through this classic tragedy." Full Review

Broadway Baby

for a previous production "Emily Carding’s portrayal of the king who murders his way to the English throne is in a league of its own. Her performance is electric, perfectly capturing Richard’s manic glee as he executes foes, friends and even his own family…This innovative, daring re-imaging of the text means that there's a sense of danger as Richard’s schemes escalate...We are invested and involved in this performance like no other; and what a performance it is." Full Review

Vent Spleen

for a previous production "Carding is hypnotically mesmerizing as Richard in a production that perfectly showcases the sheer breadth of her talent as well as her knowledge of Shakespeare. This is Shakespeare unlike anything I have ever experienced before and is truly a fully immersive experience…It is hugely exciting to see Shakespeare brought to life in a way that still has the power to entrance. Whilst never taking away from the sheer brilliance of The Bard's writing, Carding's performance serves as an example to all." Full Review

The Stage (UK)

for a previous production "A smart, sparse, stripped back version of the text…Veering between oleaginous charm and gleeful malice as he ascends to power, then disintegrating into paranoia once he has seized it, this feels like a properly dangerous Richard…The piece works better in some scenes than others…Paring back the text to one speaker means inevitably some of its richness is lost...But overall, the approach pays off, creating a potent distillation of one of theatre’s greatest villains." Full Review

Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Masterful, Must see

See it if You love unique Shakespeare adaptations and masterful acting.

Don't see it if You don't like interactive theatre.

Clever, Absorbing, Great acting, Entertaining, Ambitious

See it if you are comfortable enough with yourself to sit close to an actor embodying one of the most wretched, murderous narcissists in history.

Don't see it if you're a Shakespeare purist without game or a sense of humour.

Ambitious, Entertaining, Masterful, Must see, Great acting

See it if you love creative interpretations of Shakespeare

Don't see it if you're a dud who doesn't go for iambic pentameter and unparalleled acting skills

Absorbing, Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining, Ambitious

See it if Audience participation where you are in the play but not in too deep. Delightful interplay. Also Shakespeare in an hour.

Don't see it if you must have the full Shakespeare in classical form and can't live with playful variations

Clever, Great acting, Intelligent, Masterful

See it if You love Shakespeare and are looking for an original take on a brilliant classic.

Don't see it if You dislike audience participation or have trouble with Shakespeare. It can also be confusing if you're not familiar with the original.

Delightful, Entertaining, Great acting, Original, Funny

See it if You want to see an original approach to the play and don't mind a small amount of participation.

Don't see it if If you are a Shakespeare purist and hate interactive theater.

Clever, Original, Fun, Intelligent, Intimate

See it if you want an original take on Shakespeare in an intimate setting; you enjoy interactive theatrical experiences; you want to laugh.

Don't see it if you are made uncomfortable by audience involvement or don't enjoy Shakespeare.

Absorbing, Ambitious, Entertaining, Edgy, Intelligent

See it if You want to challenge your knowledge of the Bard.

Don't see it if You're locked into the idea of how things should always be done.

Absorbing, Clever, Ambitious, Entertaining, Quirky

See it if You like Shakespeare, and especially if you like Shakespeare but have a limited attention span

Don't see it if you'd be too painful embarassed to participate

Ambitious, Absorbing, Exquisite, Enchanting, Clever

See it if you like being challenged. Carding masters the art of performing to while interacting with members of her audience. Beautifully intense.

Don't see it if you prefer to have the performer onstage while you sit safely on the other side of the fourth wall.

Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Intelligent, Must see

See it if You like Shakespeare intelligently and creatively performed. You don't believe she can pull it off--because she can!

Don't see it if You are with a young kid. It moves fast and furious, and a kid will have trouble following it unless they already know Richard III.

Delightful, Entertaining, Riveting, Must see, Refreshing

See it if You want to experience a fresh approach to Shakespeare as you are drawn into the heart and soul of the tormented king... Wonderful !!!

Don't see it if Want to make the sad mistake of missing an opportunity to see an absorbing and interactive approach to Shakespeare up close and personal.

Thought-provoking, Original, Masterful, Ambitious, Delightful

See it if you want the story of Richard III to come to life in unimaginable ways. The play became deeply personal for me, as it never has before!

Don't see it if you need the 4th wall. I would urge you to go, even if you think you don't like audience involvement. It will change the way you think.

Ambitious, Great acting, Masterful

See it if you love Shakespeare done well and in a wholly new way.

Don't see it if English accents or iambic pentameter cause you trouble.

Funny, Ambitious, Entertaining, Original, Riveting

See it if you like when the 4th wall shatters

Don't see it if you are afraid of being part of a show

Absorbing, Funny, Great acting, Great staging

See it if you like shakespeare and you like being put under spotlight (a little, not too much) and you want to feel weird laughing

Don't see it if you are expecting a lot of intensity and discomfort - I wish it had been more of this