Richard III in Mandarin 理查三世 – The Globe Theatre

So much to do in London! So many Chinese and global events too. 

Eason Chan (Hong Kong singer) had a concert on 23rd April, but I couldn’t go since it was on a Monday at the O2 Arena (which is so far) but I had already gone to his concert two years ago at the Royal Albert Hall. Oh well. So in the end I decided to go to one of my favourite theatres in London during that week – The Globe Theatre.

I remembered when I was a teenager the new Globe Theatre (a bit further away from its original location back in the 1600’s – 230 metres away) had just opened, but I didn’t go to see any shows at that time. So in the past few years I try to go to at least one show a year!

I got a couple of brochures posted to me and a lot of e-Newsletters about an international event of Shakespearian plays being performed in 37 different languages… The Globe to Globe Festival. So obviously I went and booked for the Cantonese play first which is on Friday 4th May, but later on I decided I still needed to improve on my listening skills in Mandarin so I booked a ticket for the first showing of Richard III 理查三世 on Sartuday 28th April.

Inside the Globe Theatre

I left an hour early before the show started, but the bus was slow due to traffic (anyone going to London Bridge should get off the stop before – coming from the South side, and walk the rest of the way – traffic was murder!). I literally had half an hour before the show started – but it was also unfortunate that they’re doing pavement work along the sidewalk!! How annoying. It was like that a month ago!!!!! How long does it take to finish a pavement?

The Box Office area after the play

Anyway, cushion – check; programme – check; seat found – check; photos taken before the play started – check! Phew!

The mini leaflet about the play

At the start of the play the Globe Theatre’s Director came out to introduce the play and explain that the actor’s costumes had been shipped 7 weeks ago but hadn’t arrived yet, so they had to improvise.

It rained throughout the whole play 😦 but the show still carried on! 🙂 The play itself was brilliantly directed and translated. The actors played it like a true Shakespearian play with a Chinese twist, although Richard III was not depicted as a hunchback and didn’t have a squeaky voice. 
The Globe was even cool enough to add digital signs to help those who didn’t speak a word of Mandarin (and other languages) to tell us what was going on (I’m very grateful – as I haven’t read the play).

The digital screen display

The Throne during the interval

My favourite parts during the play were:
1. Richard III trying to get Lady Anne to marry him
2. The executioners – they were so funny – especially when they tried to kill Clarence (Richard’s brother)
3. Loved it when Richard said: “我爱我自己。” (I love myself) – so funny!
4. I think they kept to the play – keeping the character’s names and the places i.e Tower of London (this was mentioned a lot in the play!).

My least favourite part was Lady Anne’s Chinese opera. It was very high pitched. And sadly Chinese opera never agrees with my ears. But that’s one of the Chinese twists in the play!

Unlike the Shakespeare Company who would usually perform a dance right at the end of the play, they came out several times to bow to the audience. Heheheh. These group of actors are really cool.

The actors / actresses from the National Theatre of China at the end of the play 

Actor Zhang Dongyu 张东雨 who played Richard III 

Another round of applause with the Chinese Director Wang Xiaoying 王晓鹰 ^^ 

The End

One thing that The Globe should complain more often about is the noise from the airplanes and helicopters that fly past the theatre. It’s distracting and I couldn’t hear the actors. Plus one annoying thing was that I was sitting near the door, so I heard a lot of people coming in and out… 😦

I’m now in the mood for more Shakespeare! I can’t wait to see the Cantonese one!! ^_^


p.s. I forgot to mention about the sound effects, the percussionist and the coin bag throwing attempt was brilliant too! I’m pretty sure the whole audience loved it very much!

2 thoughts on “Richard III in Mandarin 理查三世 – The Globe Theatre

  1. I want to see more too! I hope the National Theatre of China will bring more plays for us to see :DA friend saw this play yesterday, she said their costumes didn't arrive in time. So unfortunate.


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