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Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London EC2Y 8DS

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Richard II

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Closed January 22, 2016

David Tennant returns to the iconic role!

Why See Richard II?

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The first in Shakespeare's four great plays about the tumultuous fortunes of the Houses of York and Lancaster, Richard II is once again led by David Tennant and directed by Gregory Doran following a successful run in 2013. The cycle of plays is part of the 400th anniversary commemorations of Shakespeare's death, and will be one of the biggest events to hit the Barbican following Benedict Cumberbatch's critically acclaimed turn in Hamlet.


The capricious and vain Richard II is convinced of his own divinity, but fails to see the danger and precarious nature of his claim to the English throne. He exiles all those who he sees as a threat; the banishment of one Henry Bolingbroke would prove to be his undoing. Accusing the Duke of Norfolk of seizing his lands and plotting to murder his uncle the Duke of Gloucester, Henry leaves for exile abroad, promising to return for his rightful inheritance, with an army to support him.

When Richard is distracted by a rebellion in Ireland, Bolingbroke returns under the radar to England, intent on recovering his rightful property, and instigates an uprising against the incompetant king, much to the glee of his peers. Richard returns from Ireland to find his supporters have abandoned him, and to his horror that his uncle York has allied himself with Bolingbroke, and has promised him the throne. What will Richard do, now that his armies have defected, and his supporters now act for his rival Henry?

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Additional Information


Opening night: 7 January 2016


Richard II is suitable for audiences aged 12 and upwards

Run time

Three hours with one interval

Cast and Creative


David Tennant as Richard II

Rest of cast TBA


Director - Gregory Doran

Designer - Stephen Brimson Lewis

Lighting - Tim Mitchell

Music - Paul Englishby

What you thought

2 reviews, average rating: (5.0 Stars)

5.0 star rating

Mary: “Fantastic performance- 7th Jan 2014”

The set and costumes were fantastic and the cast brilliant. David Tenant... more

Mary: “Fantastic performance ”

The set and costumes were fantastic and the cast brilliant. David Tenant... more

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