Richard III
Richard III

Adjoa Andoh directs and stars in ‘Richard III’

Rose Theatre and Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse Theatres in association with Swinging the Lens 6 - 22 April 2023 at Liverpool Playhouse 26 April - 13 May 2023 at Rose Theatre Liverpool Press Night: Tuesday 11 April London Press Night: Thursday 27 April

Rose Theatre and Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse Theatres today announce a new production of William Shakespeare’s Richard III. Following her critically acclaimed production of Richard II at Shakespeare’s Globe, Adjoa Andoh (Lady Danbury in Bridgerton) returns to the stage to direct and star as Shakespeare’s iconic antihero, Richard III. Richard III opens at Liverpool Playhouse on 11 April with previews from 6 April 2023 and plays at Rose Theatre from 26 April – 13 May 2023.  

Rose Theatre today also announce Lord of the Flies (18 – 22 April 2023) and Peter Pan (1 December 2023 – 7January 2024).  

Priority booking is now available for Richard IIILord of the Flies, and Peter Pan, with general booking open from Monday 5 December 2022.  

Q & A – Actress Adjoa Andoh photographed in West London.

A tale of ambition and manipulation, Richard III charts the rise of Richard, Duke of Gloucester, as he deceives and murders anyone who stands in his path to becoming King.  

Reflecting on her own childhood in rural England in the 1960s, Adjoa Andoh sets out to explore how pathologising the body and ascribing evil intent due to a person’s physical appearance can wear away at the soul.  

Adjoa Andoh said: 

“When Christopher Haydon, Artistic Director of the Rose Theatre, asked me what I might be interested in directing for their 2023 spring season, Richard lll was top of my list.  

Richard is a character I have loved since childhood. Growing up in a tiny Cotswold village in the 1960s & 70s, I immediately felt a connection to someone singled out because of their appearance. 

On first reading Shakespeare’s play as a child, I was outraged at the way Richard was portrayed, but now appreciate one of the questions Shakespeare posits – what happens to a person and their sense of self, if throughout their life bad intentions are ascribed to them based solely on their appearance? I call this body pathologising. It happens to many people in many circumstances across the world to this day, and in this production, I want to explore the story, and that question through the lens of race. 

I’m delighted that the show is a co-production with Liverpool Playhouse, as my mother is a Liverpudlian, and finally I get to perform in her beloved city; our childhoods united on stage. I can’t wait to whip off the corsets and share this production with audiences in Liverpool and London next spring.” 

Christopher Haydon, Artistic Director of Rose Theatre said: 

“Starting with Richard III, the Rose continues to offer audiences fiercely fresh perspectives on familiar stories. I last collaborated with Adjoa Andoh in 2017 when I ran the Gate Theatre. I’m thrilled that she’s now bringing her ferocious intellect and incandescent stage presence to the Rose, in the first Shakespeare we’ve presented in my tenure here as Artistic Director. Adjoa will both direct and star in a no doubt powerful and provocative production, that will both entertain and challenge.  

I’m delighted that we are partnering with Leeds Playhouse and the Belgrade Theatre to present Amy Leach’s startling new production of this epic and visceral story. Amy is a champion of creating accessible theatre, and this show will have creatively integrated audio description available at every performance.   

Our youth theatre will remain integral to our Christmas production which in 2023 will be a new version of Peter Pan. I’ve wanted to work with Evan Placey for many years – he is a terrifically talented writer with a particularly strong understanding of family audiences. I’ve no doubt that he and director Lucy Morrell, will be taking us on a very special trip to Neverland.” 

Suba Das, Creative Director of the Liverpool Playhouse and Everyman said: 

“Both the Playhouse and the Everyman have had a long history of incredible Shakespeare performances by Liverpool acting royalty from Pete Postlethwaite to David Morrissey to Kim Cattrall treading our boards in some of the bard’s most iconic roles. It’s an honour in my first year here to continue this proud tradition and with the team at Rose Theatre to entice Adjoa off the Bridgerton set and back to Liverpool (where her mum grew up) to take on Richard III, one of the greatest plays and characters ever written.  As both lead actor and director, Adjoa is assembling a stunning cast and creative team around her for a production that will examine race and trauma. It’s a timely reimagining and I’m so very proud our audiences at the Playhouse will be the first in the world to experience what will be one of the year’s theatrical highlights.” 

2023 at the Rose continues with a contemporary staging of Lord of the Fliesadapted by Nigel Williams from the novel from William Golding, will be directed by Amy Leach, and is a Leeds Playhouse and Belgrade Coventry co-production in association with Rose Theatre.  

Lord of the Flies made an immediate impact when it was first published as a novel in 1954 by Nobel Prize-winning British author William Golding. Almost 70 years later, its searing iconoclastic gaze remains intact, giving us the chance to reflect anew on modern society. 

Next Christmas, an enchanting adventure awaits.  

Award-winning writer Evan Placey adapts J.M. Barrie’s children’s classic Peter Pan in a brand-new version directed by Lucy Morrell (Beauty and the Beast). Packed with song, dance, magic and featuring members of our talented Rose Youth Theatre, we promise to have you hooked. 

Chasing his runaway shadow, a mischievous young boy crash lands through an open window and meets a headstrong young girl not yet ready to face growing up. With a sprinkle of fairy dust, they take flight on a whirlwind festive voyage across pirate ships, through mermaid lagoons and into the heart of Neverland.     

BIOGRAPHIES  

ADJOA ANDOH
Director & Richard III 

One of Britain’s leading actors, Adjoa Andoh won global acclaim as Lady Danbury in the Netflix smash Bridgerton – a role that saw her nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress at the 2021 NAACP Image Awards. On the small screen in 2020, she was spellbinding as Dr Isaacs in the psychological thriller Fractured, as well playing tough cop DI Nina Rosen in BBC1’s Silent Witness. The end of 2021, saw her star as Nenneke in the Netflix blockbuster fantasy drama, The Witcher. Her many other television appearances include regulars in Doctor WhoCasualty and Law & Order UK.  

A renowned stage actor, Adjoa has been celebrated for lead roles at the National Theatre, including Condoleezza Rice in Stuff Happens, and Serafina Pekkala in His Dark Materials. The Royal Shakespeare Company where she played Portia in Julius Caesar, (which transferred to the West End and played New York and Moscow), Ulysses in Troilus & Cressida, and Helen of Troy in The Odyssey. And in 2019 she conceived, co-directed, and played Richard II at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, in the UK’s first all women-of-colour production.  

She made her Hollywood debut in 2009, starring alongside Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon in Clint Eastwood’s biographical sports film Invictus. Other film appearances include AdulthoodBrotherhood, and I Is A Long Memoried Woman. She’s also been a BBC radio actor for over 30 years and is an award-winning narrator of over 150 audiobooks.  

Adjoa Andoh is an Associate Artist at the Royal Shakespeare Company and Senior Associate Artist at The Bush Theatre. She is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, British Shakespeare Association, Rose Bruford College, Arts University Bournemouth and the Shakespeare Association of America. She was recently appointed as the Cameron Mackintosh Visiting Professor of Contemporary Theatre (University of Oxford), joining a distinguished list of past professors that includes Stephen Sondheim, Arthur Miller and Sir Ian McKellen.  

Adjoa is a proud patron of the Fairtrade Foundation and Tree Aid. 

EVAN PLACEY
Adaptor, Peter Pan 

Evan is a Canadian-British playwright and screenwriter who lives in London, UK. His debut play Mother of Him won the inaugural RBC National Playwriting Award at the Tarragon Theatre in Toronto, the King’s Cross Award in the UK, and the Samuel French Canadian Play Award in the USA. The play went on to be produced internationally and was adapted for BBC Radio. It was revived at the Park Theatre, London. His other plays include Girls Like That (Birmingham REP, West Yorkshire Playhouse & Plymouth Theatre Royal); Orange Polar Bear (Birmingham REP/National Theatre Company of Korea); Keepy Uppy (UK tour), Consensual (NYT/West End), Jekyll & Hyde (National Theatre, UK Tour & Birmingham REP/West End), Pronoun (National Theatre), WiLd! (UK tour), Scarberia (YPT, Toronto & York Theatre Royal, UK) Holloway Jones (Synergy/Unicorn), How was it for you? (Unicorn), and Banana Boys (Hampstead).  Awards include: Jugend Theatre Preis Baden-Wurttemberg (Germany), Scenic Youth prize (France), Brian Way Award, Royal Society of Literature’s Literature Matters Award and the Writers’ Guild Award for Best Play for Young Audiences (all UK). For television He has written for Soulmates (AMC/Amazon) and the forthcoming The Tattooist of Auschwitz (Sky). Evan was recently named on the Brit List 2022. 

LUCY MORRELL
Director, Peter Pan 

Lucy Morrell is a freelance theatre director who specialises in work with and for young people. She is the current Director of Learning and Participation at Rose Theatre. She trained at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts and Central School of Speech and Drama.  

Theatre includes: Beauty and the Beast (Rose Theatre), Macbeth (Rose Theatre and Oldenberg State Theatre), The Creature (Rose Theatre and Oldenberg State Theatre), Hansel and Gretel (Rose Theatre, associate) The Merry Wives of Windsor (Grassroots Shakespeare Company) Minotag (Almeida Young Company) The Oresteia (Almeida, young company) Matilda (Dramacube Productions) 

For Rose Young Company:  JunkyardDraculaThe Cherry OrchardDNATreasure IslandThe Creature1984Gulliver’s TravelsOur TownThe Railway ChildrenBlack BeautyMuch Ado About NothingMacbethTwelfth NightThe Jungle BookCharlotte’s Web and Alice in Wonderland.  

AMY LEACH 

Director, Lord of the Flies 

After working across the UK for 15 years as a freelance director and facilitator, Amy joined Leeds Playhouse in 2017 as Associate Director. Amy is now Deputy Artistic Director of the theatre where she has been a key champion of creating accessible theatre. 

Amy’s directing credits at Leeds Playhouse include Macbeth, Don’t You Know It’s Going To Be Alright, Oliver Twist, There Are No Beginnings, Hamlet, Road, A Christmas Carol, Talking Heads, Queen of Chapeltown, Romeo & Juliet, Kes, The Night Before Christmas and Little Sure Shot. Amy has also directed work for Hull Truck Theatre, Sherman Theatre Cardiff, National Theatre Wales, National Theatre Studio, Gagglebabble, Wales Millennium Centre, Unicorn Theatre London, Library Theatre Manchester, The Egg Bath, Dukes Lancaster and Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester. Between 2003 & 2011, Amy co-founded and ran en masse, an award winning touring theatre company which created work for young people and their families. 

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