Bay Area Theater

Review: Shakespeare’s The War of the Roses at Cal Shakes

KPFA theatre critic Richard Wolinsky reviews “The War of the Roses, from William Shakespeare’s
Henry VI trilogy and Richard III, adapted by Eric Ting & Philippa Kelly and directed by Eric Ting, through September 15, 2018 at California Shakespeare Theatre in Orinda.

KPFA host Mitch Jeserich:

“Richard III is one of most visible and known disabled characters in the literary and theatrical worlds and he is part of a long tradition of portraying primary disabled and deformed characters as a villains.  I can see Cal Shakes wanting to avoid perpetuating that type of characterization.  But to erase his disfigurement all together is antithetical to the character himself because Richard uses society’s maltreatment of him for motivation to gain power precisely in order to be seen and recognized.  Because Cal Shakes always seems to strive in bringing diversity into Shakespearean plays, I was disappointed that instead of figuring a clever and dignified way to represent his disability they erased it all together.”

Cal Shakes website

 

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