Richard Charms Audiences
Shakespeare for some conjures images of stiff Elizabethan costumes, dated dialogue and perhaps even a less-than-fond high school class or two.
Not so at USQ!
The Bard has been given a thoroughly modern-day make-over at the University’s annual Shakespeare in the Park Festival.
Resplendent in steam-punk inspired costumes and complete with amazing machinations a talented cast of seven are retelling the story of King Richard III.
Under the creative genius of director Scott Alderdice, Shakespeare’s great historic drama, Richard III has been adapted into an exciting modern day interpretation.
Festival producer and Manager of USQ Artsworx, Dr Rebecca Scollen is pleased with the audiences’ reaction to the production.
“They have been especially impressed with the skill of the young actors as they take on the challenge to perform so many roles during the show,” said Rebecca.
“Shannon Haeglar is a stand-out; bringing Richard to life in a charming, provocative and amusing way.
“Richard is a fantastic character; the sort of villain you just can’t help but like, a bit like Francis Urquhart (played by Ian Richardson) in the televised version of To Play the King.
“He’s funny, erudite, persuasive and attractive yet dastardly in his evil deeds – you can’t help but fall under his charming spell!”
Although a 15th century English warlord, characters like Richard still abound in fiction and in real life today.
“I guess what makes this production particularly appealing is its attempt to approach the central themes of the play (struggle for power, battle between right and wrong, and survival of dynasties) from an almost ‘superhero’ perspective.
“The costumes and set are striking and they provide the context for characters that are half-human half-machine.”
The Shakespeare Festival has made a major move this year onto the University’s Toowoomba campus to take advantage of a range of outdoor and indoor performance spaces – featuring the magnificent open-air main stage on the Front Oval.
“The move to USQ has been advantageous in so many ways; our patrons have found it easier to park and access the site and it is also much better acoustically so the show sounds really clear.
“Logistically it has been simpler for us to create a Festival site (just like the one at Queens Park) when it sits alongside where we rehearse the actors, build the sets and make the costumes.
“Many patrons have said they can’t believe it has taken us this long to present the Festival at USQ!”
Richard III continues at the University’s Toowoomba campus nightly at 6.30pm on Friday 19, Saturday 20, Friday 26 and Saturday 27 October.
Gates open at 5.30pm and audiences are encouraged to bring a blanket or chair to sit on and to pack a picnic and bottle or two to enjoy during the show.
The site is licensed for BYO alcohol and a range of delicious hot food and drinks are available from the on-site vendors.
Tickets are available from the USQ Artsworx Box Office on 07 4631 1111 (10.00am-4.00pm, Monday-Friday) or at the gate from 5.30pm each night.