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Review: An All-Female ‘Richard III’ Fails to Meet Expectations – The Gentleman Report – TheFantasyTimes

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By Jitin Gambhir

Review: An All-Female ‘Richard III’ Fails to Meet Expectations – The Gentleman Report


The concept of presenting a production of William Shakespeare’s “Richard III” that is “all-female, gender-fluid, disability forward” seems like a promising idea. It raises intriguing questions about how society perceives women’s appearances and the discrimination that individuals with disabilities face. However, the New York Classical Theater’s rendition of the play fails to live up to these lofty goals.

Under the direction of Stephen Burdman, the production lacks creativity and does little to challenge typical gender stereotypes. All of the actors conform to the original genders of their respective characters, and while Delaney Feener, who portrays Richard, has a “limb difference,” it is not effectively utilized in the character’s portrayal. Feener’s shortened arm, concealed beneath a cloak, fails to capture the essence of Richard’s monstrous nature.

Rewritten:

The idea of staging a production of William Shakespeare’s “Richard III” that is focused on an all-female, gender-fluid, disability-forward cast is a novel and intriguing concept. It raises important questions about societal attitudes towards women’s appearances and the challenges faced by individuals with disabilities. However, the New York Classical Theater’s adaptation of the play falls short of its lofty goals.

Under the direction of Stephen Burdman, the production is disappointingly lacking in originality and fails to challenge traditional gender roles. The actors all adhere to the original genders of their characters, and while Delaney Feener, who portrays the titular character, has a physical disability, it is not effectively incorporated into the character’s depiction. Feener’s shortened arm is hidden beneath a cloak and fails to convey the monstrous nature of Richard.

The idea of staging an “all-female, gender-fluid, disability forward” production of Shakespeare’s “Richard III” sounds promising. It raises questions about society’s treatment of women’s appearances and the discrimination faced by the disabled. However, the reality of New York Classical Theater’s adaptation falls short of these aspirations.

The production, directed by Stephen Burdman, lacks originality and does little to challenge traditional gender roles. The actors all adhere to the original genders of their characters, and while Delaney Feener, who plays Richard, has a “limb difference,” it is not effectively utilized in the portrayal of the character. Feener’s shortened arm, hidden beneath a cloak, fails to capture the essence of Richard’s monstrous nature.

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