Richard III reigns in the southwest this summer. Not only will the Renaissance Reading Group be discussing the play next week — Exeter’s Northcott Theatre will be performing Richard III in the grounds of Rougemont Castle, 17 July-9 August. Shakespeare in the wooded moat of the ruined fortress has become an established and well-loved tradition. This year’s production will be worth attending, if only for the resonant passage in which Richard recalls his visit to the very spot:
When last I was at Exeter,
The mayor in courtesy show’d me the castle,
And call’d it Rougemont: at which name I started,
Because a bard of Ireland told me once
I should not live long after I saw Richmond….
The next best thing to seeing Hamlet done at Elsinore. Cymbeline at Milford Haven. Or The Merry Wives of Windsor at, um, Windsor….
The production will have its premiere at the Ludlow Festival, before moving on to Rougemont. Curiously enough, Richard III also contains several references to Ludlow, where Edward, Prince of Wales is resident before his fatal transfer to the Tower of London.
‘Towards Ludlow then, for we’ll not stay behind!’