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Richard III

William Shakespeare / Schaubühne Berlin / Thomas Ostermeier

Deeply influential theatre maker Thomas Ostermeier returned to the Edinburgh International Festival with a raw, gritty reimagining of Shakespeare’s unflinching study of evil, in a compelling and critically acclaimed production from Berlin’s Schaubühne Theatre.

Richard is a deformed, hobbling, hunchback who has helped his brother Edward to become King with a few judicious murders. But the end of the Wars of the Roses brings Richard no peace. Playing his rivals off against each other, and gleefully killing again, he clears away every obstacle in his own path to the throne.

Thomas Ostermeier is one of the world’s most revered and provocative directors, renowned for drawing stage action and audiences closer together. He remains faithful to Shakespeare’s original, but presents Richard III as both a theatrical thriller and a celebration of evil – of submitting to the inner impulses we usually keep well in check.

This visceral production brings the audience up close to Shakespeare’s charismatic psychopath, darkly comic in his amoral ambitions.

Lars Eidinger, a cult figure in German theatre, is a mesmerising, sometimes shocking Richard, damaged and disfigured, who murders his way to the throne and exposes the mistrust and conflict within the ruling elite.

With ferocious live drumming from Thomas Witte and a stark stage design by Jan Pappelbaum, this is an intensely physical, harrowing Richard III that digs deep into the nature of evil and the craving for power.

[Ostermeier’s] dark, sardonic take on the dangerous power of Richard’s charisma is perfectly realised

Financial Times 

...dazzling and dangerous central performance from cult German star Lars Eidinger

The Scotsman

Contains adult themes and nudity

Thomas Ostermeier Director
Jan Pappelbaum Stage designer
Florence von Gerkan Costume designer
Florian Borchmeyer Dramaturg
Erich Schneider Lighting designer
Nils Ostendorf Music
Sébastien Dupouey Video


Thomas Bading, Robert Beyer,
Lars Eidinger, Christoph Gawenda,
Moritz Gottwald, Jenny König,
Laurenz Laufenberg, Eva Meckbach,
Sebastian Schwarz, Thomas Witte (drummer)

More information about some of the artists

Schaubühne Berlin 

Thomas Ostermeier

Thomas Bading

Robert Beyer

Lars Eidinger

Christoph Gawenda

Moritz Gottwald

Jenny Konig

Laurenz Laufenberg

Eva Meckbach

Sebastian Schwarz

24-28 August 2016

This event was part of a previous International Festival and is therefore unavailable to book. The 2020 programme will be announced in the spring.