Even as the opening night performance of a magnetic, strongly delivered, performance of Shakespeare’s version of Richard the Second’s downfall was underway in Mountain View’s pear theatre; the mighty Silicon Valley bank was collapsing in nearby Santa Clara. If you like your theatre, relevant, catch the joint production with Perspective Theatre Company, sadly closing now having lost its lease in 2019. Pear Management assured us (your reviewers) that its theatre was secure. Even as bonus checks were issued to employees by SVB, assurances to depositors of funds availability were not being honored. Is there a similarity to when Bolingbroke knelt before his liege, offering similar assurances of fealty, back in the day?
This “sceptered Isle” phrase we knew not their source abound in this seldom performed but highly salient drama abounding with local resonances of treachery and double dealing, albeit with finance rather than lives directly at stake. Propose a future version as a “mashup” between SVB and Richard II scenes, although hardly necessary to be so obvious when the reality is so close at hand and all pervasive. Ironically, the Pear’s leadership thought they were catering to the elder sector of their clientele in mounting this play but events were brewing, bringing an analogue of this classic to life, with many potential local traditional theatre going viewers becoming performers in contemporary dramas of downfall.
Richard II – the story upon which the play was based.
Richard II (6 January 1367 – c. 14 February 1400) who was also known as Richard of Bordeaux, was King of England from 1377 until he was deposed in 1399. He was the son of Edward the Black Prince, Prince of Wales, and Joan, Countess of Kent. When Richard’s father died in 1376, he leftl Richard as heir apparent to his grandfather, King Edward III. With King Edward III’s death upon the 10-year-old Richard succeeded to the throne.
With a cast of six actors who portray over 25 different characters, Perspective Theatre Company returns to The Pear with Richard II!
Shakespeare’s Richard II chronicles the historical and compelling saga of King Richard II including his controversial reign, familial conflicts and inevitable imprisonment and downfall.
This seldom seen history play seems a perfect choice to revisit at this time. This is especially true as we are aware daily of issues that include power, leadership, faith and honor all of which seem to be in a permanent state of chaotic flux.
This is a play that asks, “Who has the right to rule? How should a leader rule? What makes a good ruler? Is rebellion against traditions and norms held up for centuries good for a country? Or will it tear us all apart?”
Kudos to the veratile acting and the excellent work of the production team. This is a must see.
PG for mild violence and onstage combat.
2 hours with a 15 minute intermission.
Director: Kevin Hammond
Stage & Production Manager: Kelly Weber Barraza
Costume Design: Joanne Martin
Technical Director & Set Design: Louis Stone-Collonge
Lighting Design: Adrian Gilstrap
Fight Choreography: Sydney Schwindt
William J. Brown III* as York, Servant & Scroop
Sinjin Jones as Bolingbroke
Jennifer Le Blanc* as Mowbray, Aumerle, Willoby, Lady, & Bushy
John R. Lewis* as Richard II
Julian Lopez-Morillas* as John of Gaunt, Gardner, Green, & Northumberland
Annamarie MacLeod as Duchess of Gloucester, Hotspur, Queen, Captain, & Messenger
*Member of Actors’ Equity Association
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Photo credit: Gregg Le Blanc | Cumulus Light Photography