Richard II | Arcola Theatre

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3 May–7 May 2016

Dippermouth and Hartshorn – Hook Productions in association with Arcola Theatre and Arts Theatre West End

Richard II

by William Shakespeare

A nation in uproar. A leader in crisis. An unlikely successor waiting in the wings.

Richard II is Shakespeare’s great political drama about the seduction of power and the tragedy of losing it. This provocative new version uses Shakespeare’s original verse, but relocates the action to 21st century Westminster.

After a political heavyweight dies in mysterious circumstances, rifts emerge at the top of the British establishment. There are difficult questions for Richard, the nation’s leader. And Harri Bolingbroke, his charismatic cousin, wants answers.

Tim Delap (Jane Wenham, The Woman In Black) takes on the title role opposite Hermione Gulliford (3 Winters, Hotel at the National Theatre).

On the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, this bold production shows his continuing power to thrill and surprise us all. Following a premiere performance in the House of Commons, it transfers to Arcola for one week only.

Post-show events

Wednesday 4 May – Q&A with directors Jack Gamble & Quentin Beroud, and members of the company.
Friday 6 May – Live jazz in Arcola Bar.
★★★★ David Cameron should rush to see this politically charged Richard II ... Clear, pacy and rich in sharply delineated performances
—Daily Telegraph
★★★★ Tim Delap and Hermione Gulliford’s excellent performances are complimented by a very solid supporting cast, and an inventive set that renders Westminster as a tragic soap opera
—British Theatre
★★★★ An exciting, modern-day take on Shakespeare's political drama
—Everything Theatre
A sharp, slick, modern-dress staging that mixes the concerns of Shakespeare’s play with the trappings of contemporary power
—Financial Times
Richard II finds a new resonance ... cleanly focused
—The Stage
An extraordinary achievement ... an impeccable cast ... an incisive comment on the party politics of the very present and a sumptuous feast, dripping in history
A lucid production in which the action is easy to follow ... Hermione Gulliford is fantastic, nimbly dancing through Shakespeare's verse as a snarling, sarcastic political animal
—Time Out
  • Photography by Robert Workman

  • Photography by Robert Workman

  • Photography by Robert Workman

  • Photography by Robert Workman

  • Photography by Robert Workman


David Acton

Duke of York / Thomas Mowbray

Eleanor Cox

Eleanor de Bohun / Green / Ross

Hayden Wood


Hermione Gulliford

Harri Bolingbroke

Joseph Adelakun

Aumerle / Bushy / Willoughby

Natasha Bain

Isabel / Northumberland

Roland Oliver

John of Gaunt / Bishop of Carlisle

Tim Delap



William Shakespeare

Version / Direction

Jack Gamble & Quentin Beroud


Emily Harwood


Geoff Hense


Neil McKeown

Stage Manager

Olly Jacques

Fight Direction

Dave Rawlings

Creative Assistant

Lara Genovese


Kevin Wilson


Nick Rutter
Standard £19
Concession £15

Sorry, Arcola Passport tickets are not available for this production.

Pay What You Can Tuesdays – limited allocation, in person from 6pm.

Running time: 140 minutes approximately (including interval).

Suitable for 12+

Press enquiries: Kevin Wilson —

24 Ashwin Street, Dalston, London, E8 3DL
020 7503 1646

© 2017-19 Arcola Theatre.
Arcola Theatre Production Company is a registered charity no.1108613. Registered as a company limited by guarantee in England no.5242988. Registered Office: 24 Ashwin Street, Dalston, London E8 3DL.

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