Richard III


Richard III

“It’s not historically accurate, but it is very dramatically satisfying.”

Summer 2022, Masque Theatre brought Shakespeare’s most infamous villain to Abington Part Museum Courtyard for a week and a half of outdoor performances. We’re delighted to be reuniting the full cast of the much-lauded production, which was released on 27 July 2023!

Trailer for the Summer 2022 production

Trailer for the Summer 2022 production

Richard Isaac Griggs
Duke of Buckingham James Lickman
Queen Elizabeth Nicola Osborne
Queen Margaret Sue Whyte
William, Lord Hastings Rob Kendall
Duchess of York Jan Stoppani
Lady Anne Carmen Simoni
Duke of Clarence David Deegan
Earl of Richmond Edward Toone
Sir William Catesby Jen Kenny
Earl of Derby James Skeggs
Sir Richard Ratcliffe Will Brown
Rivers Mairead Kearins
First Murderer Chris Matthewman
Second Murderer Tom Rose
Prince Edward Robin Burgess
Duke of York Xander Cockcroft
Edward IV Ste Applegate
Sir Robert Brackenbury Alistair Way
Messenger April Pardoe
Sir James Tyrrel James Burgess
Dorset Meryl Couper
Archbishop of York Roger Toone
Grey Lynette Applegate
Blunt Athana Leeson
Lord Mayor of London Graham Breeze
Sir Christopher Urswick David Chappell
Guards/Citizens Angela Mayes, Maggie Holland
Additional voices members of the cast

Based on the abridged text by John Myhill
 John Myhill
Audio direction 
Rebecca Cockcroft
Editing & sound design Rebecca Cockcroft
Produced by Nothing But Roaring

Masque Theatre Northampton

Since the 1930s, quality drama has put Masque Theatre at the centre of Northampton life.  90 years later, the community theatre group are going strong, performing six or seven shows each year across numerous venues across Northampton, including The Playhouse Theatre, Abington Park Museum Courtyard. Delapre Abbey, Wicksteed Park and The Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

The Summer Shakespeare production is a Northampton tradition. performed outdoors at Abington Park Museum, which once was the home of Shakespeares’ Granddaughter.

Find out more about Masque Theatre, and their upcoming shows:

The full cast of Summer 2022’s Richard III outdoor production from Masque Theatre. Photo: Rebecca Cockcroft

The Plot: Richard III

King Henry VI of the House of Lancaster has been defeated in the Wars of the Roses, and King Edward IV of the House of York now sits on the throne. His youngest brother, Richard, plots to have their middle brother, Clarence, imprisoned, to marry Lady Anne, the widow of Henry VI’s son, and to take the throne for himself. 

Edward’s health declines, and Richard fights with Queen Elizabeth and her family. Margaret, widow of Henry VI, curses them one by one. Edward tries to make peace between the divided members of his council. Upon hearing that Clarence is dead, Edward himself dies. Arrangements are made for Edward’s eldest son, Prince Edward, to be crowned King Edward V. 

Richard and Buckingham plot to prevent Elizabeth’s family from having sole access to Edward, and have Rivers and Grey imprisoned at Pomfret Castle. Elizabeth and the Duchess of York, along with Elizabeth’s younger son, York, flee to sanctuary. Rivers and Grey are executed. 

Edward V is brought to London – Richard and Buckingham direct him and his younger brother to the Tower of London to await Edward’s coronation. Hastings doesn’t support Richard’s plans, and is executed. 

Buckingham publicly declares that the Princes in the Tower are illegitimate and brings the Lord Mayor and Citizens of London to petition Richard to accept the throne. 

Queen Elizabeth, the Duchess of York and Anne are denied access to the Princes. 

Richard is crowned, but he and Buckingham argue over the fate of the two young royals. Buckingham, sensing his life is in danger, flees. Richard employs Tyrrel to murder the Princes, and starts rumours that his wife Anne is ill. News arrives that Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond, is amassing a rebel army. 

Tyrrel has completed his mission, and Richard declares that Clarence’s children are dead too, along with Anne. He plots to marry Edward’s daughter, Elizabeth of York, to strengthen his claim – Ratcliffe arrives with news that Buckingham has joined Richmond’s side. 

Queen Elizabeth, the Duchess and Margaret meet and lament their losses at the hands of Richard – they interrupt his procession and interrogate and curse him. Richard asks Queen Elizabeth to woo her daughter for him. Richard receives the news that Richmond is gathering support, but also that Buckingham has been captured, and is executed. 

Richard and Richmond’s armies set up tents at Bosworth Field. Both leaders are visited by the spirits of those whom Richard has killed – they haunt Richard and promise to side with Richmond the following day. 

The two men finally meet on the battlefield, and Richard is killed. Richmond is crowned King Henry VII and will marry the young Elizabeth of York.