Loyalty Binds Me - The 'true' story of Richard III and the Princes in the Tower
Loyalty Binds Me – The True Story Of Richard III : Tread The Boards Theatre Company, Stratford upon Avon  Tread The Boards Theatre Company brought their ‘true story of Richard III’ to the stage at the Attic Theatre last week. This well researched, powerful and well delivered production was a notable success for the theatre company. The big question director John-Robert Partridge wants us to consider, on the stage, relates to the infamous murder of the two princes in the tower of London. There is a view that a power hungry Richard had them ‘removed’ in his bid to ascend to the throne – did he do it? Shakespeare has done little for the case of Richard’s defence. Writer Neil Hewitt-Dudding set out to present a more balanced telling of the story of the houses of York and Lancaster. The murder of Richard’s two nephews lying very much at the heart of a story, which began life as a screen play and which he has been working on for sixteen years. Indeed the long history brought to life by a hard working cast started and ended its journey in the tower of London. During the two and a half hour performance there were some powerful and emotive scenes and some highly inventive use of the small theatre space and minimilastic set. The stylised choreography of many of the fight scenes which combined skilful stage craft with a modern filmic penchant for combining slow motion and real time sequences were particularly effective. As a play for theatre audiences with ever decreasing attention spans I think that the text could have benefitted from some further pruning, which is by no means a reflection on the quality of the writing. There was some stunning acting on display from the dedicated cast which comprised; Richard Bunn, Emma Sian Cooper, John Robert Partridge, Adrian Daniel, Daniel Gough, Catherine Prout, Catherine Pugh, Taresh Solanki, Marc Alden Taylor, James Tanton, Mark Tracey, Elaine Turrell and Andrew Woolley. Tread The Boards are certainly a company to watch out for and I commend them for their work and willingness to take risks.   

Marko Spriggs(Arts Writer)

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