Public Theater Takes Richard III on the Road

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“Good lords, make all the speedy haste you may,” says Prince Edward in Shakespeare’s Richard III.

That’s just what the The Public Theater has done with the play itself, employing an adaptation directed by Amanda Dehnert to lighten the lengthy load of the text and make it easier to take on the road.

The reinvention of the The Public Theater’s Mobile Shakespeare Unit has presented this truncated Richard III in prisons, shelters and other venues around the city where live theater and Shakespeare don’t often reach. Now the production is at The Public Theater’s home base at Astor Place. 

New York Times theater critic Charles Isherwood dropped in to discover what is gained and lost in this quick-moving Richard, and to see if Queen Elizabeth (speaking in the play) would find her criterion satisfied: “An honest play speeds best, being plainly told.”