In 2012, the bones of the last king of England to die in battle were unearthed beneath a car park in Leicester, sparking renewed public interest in discovering the truth behind Shakespeare’s infamous villain, Richard the Third! That event also inspired Midland Player Chris Walker to create this comprehensive rewriting of the Bard’s famous work of Tudor propaganda, seeking to answer the question ‘How different might that play have been if Shakespeare wrote it today, better informed, and in no danger of losing his head?’
At the climax of a war-torn period in England’s history, during which multiple claimants schemed ruthlessly for the crown in our real-life ‘Game of Thrones’, the Duke of Gloucester, valiant soldier and loyal brother to Edward IV, must overcome prejudice and outwit his enemies to stay alive. A protagonist who is neither devil nor saint, this Richard values loyalty above all, but who can he trust, as events race to their bloody conclusion, and who are the traitors?
With fully updated language, and the boring bits removed, ‘CROOKBACK’ is Shakespeare for people who think they don’t like Shakespeare, and even though this version of ‘Richard III’ may be missing a hunchback, audiences enjoyed duplicitous rogues, desperate plotting, doomed romance, rolling heads, and dark comedy!
The world premier of Crookback was presented in the University of Sheffield Drama Studio Theatre, Shearwood Rd, Broomhall, Sheffield S10 2TD from Wednesday 15th to Saturday 18th February 2023.