Richard III was the King in England from 1483 to 1485. Shakespeare paints him a villainous hunchback. The play The Tragedy of Richard III currently playing at La Boite in Brisbane breaks the fourth wall and asks the audience to question how storytellers make myths out of history – “how the telling of a story can influence our imagination of history, and the stories we tell about ourselves.”
(When I say breaks the fourth wall, I mean shatters it)
Maybe Richard III locked his nephews in the Tower of London and then had them killed to secure his hold on the throne. Maybe he was an deformed. Maybe he was ruthless, violent and unprincipled. Maybe is he was a lonely misused child. Maybe he had a kind heart. Maybe he sounds like a character from Game of Thrones. Definitely he sounds like a character from Game of Thrones.
The truth is that the truth is slippery. The truth can be what we agree it is – it can be defined by the power brokers – it can write women out. The truth, above all can get in the way of a good story!
The play is funny and entertaining. The actors play multiple parts – even swapping parts. They engage the audience in a conversation about the story they are telling. They question their actions. The question each other. It is tangled way to tell a tale, untell a tale and retell a tale.