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Unearthing Richard III—why dictators never sleep easy

Ralph Fiennes’s dark performance dominates a powerfully claustrophobic production

By Sameer Rahim  
Ralph Fiennes as a crabbed psychopath in the Almeida's Richard III

Ralph Fiennes as a crabbed psychopath in the Almeida's Richard III © Marc Brenner

It was inevitable, I suppose, that a new production of Shakespeare’s Richard III would allude to the famous discovery in a Leicester car park in 2013. Director Rupert Goold begins his production at the Almeida in North London with men in forensic gear digging up England’s most infamous king—his skull brought up from the grave looking like a sinister Yorick. Then comes a further trophy, the curved spine that so…

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