Richard III will be at Prague Castle in English

Prague Shakespeare Company will perform at the Castle's annual festival

Prague’s Summer Shakespeare Festival is welcoming Prague Shakespeare Company (PSC) to perform Richard III at the Supreme Burgrave’s House at Prague Castle for one show on July 23 at 8:30 p.m.

This will be PSC’s third time to be involved in the festival; however, it is the company’s first time performing a play for the festival. In their previous collaborations with the Summer Shakespeare Festival, PSC brought the Globe's touring production of Hamlet in 2014 and Patrick Doyle’s Music of Shakespeare in 2015.

Guy Roberts, CEO and artistic director of the PSC said the company is honored to be a part of the festival, which was started in the early 1990s by then-president Václav Havel in an attempt to celebrate not only Shakespeare, but also the art of live theater in general.

He added that Richard III was always relevant.

“Richard the III is one of those Shakespeare plays that never goes out of style. …whether it’s in Turkey with what happened a few days ago or in the U.S. with the presidential campaign, Richard the III’s pop up their heads continuously, so it’s always in the repertoire and we think it will have a lot of significance for some political things going on today,” Roberts said.

PSC’s production of Richard the III is based on their 2012 production, which the company has previously performed in both America and Prague. The production initially extensively used video; however, because of Prague Castle’s lack of video capabilities it has been altered a bit and is also being performed by a new cast. The cast of around 20 people from all over the world includes theater notables such as Jan Thompson, the British Ambassador to the Czech Republic who is making her third appearance with PSC as Queen Elizabeth; and Lane Davies, an American TV star, who is joining the PSC cast as Edward IV.

In discussing the upcoming Richard III production Roberts states that this production is set in an “everywhere and nowhere kind of world” where some of the costumes are historically accurate, while some are modern day. “We have guns and we have swords,” he said.

Roberts mentioned “The Peacham Drawing,” the only surviving contemporary Shakespearean illustration depicting a scene from Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus. This drawing shows that some people were dressed in togas while others were dressed in Elizabethan modern dress. “This is the way PSC does a lot of our Shakespeare productions because we think it’s right in line with how Shakespeare did it.”

PSC is commemorating the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death through the PSC 400 Season, in which the company is doing every Shakespeare play, poem, sonnet and piece of work in some form, whether it be through acting, film, photographs or some other means.

Coming up PSC will also perform Richard the III on Sept. 3 in Prague’s Estates Theatre, The Winter’s Tale on Oct. 13 and 14 in the Estates Theatre, an all-female Coriolanus at Prague’s Kolowrat Theatre and a new Jerry Springer talk show inspired Measure for Measure in November.

Lastly, Roberts would like to recognize that none of this would be possible without the generous support of the PSC patrons, the Kolowrat family, along with the Divadlo Kolowrat.

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