A RARE black and white silent film of Shakespeare’s Richard III from 1910 will be shown in the last Plantagenet king’s childhood home, Middleham Castle, brought to "voice" by a cast of actors from York Theatre Royal on Saturday and Sunday night .
Introduced by Dr Kate Giles and Professor Judith Buchanan from the University of York, the film will be projected on to the castle walls at 8.30pm.
Within the ancient stones of Richard’s favourite castle, the King’s controversial history can be felt, even more so when this weekend's innovative Silents Now show draws on the surviving film stock of a celebrated British stage production from 1910 that starred classical actor Frank Benson.
The Theatre Royal actors will collaborate with Benson and company in voicing up the lines in synchronicity with the action on screen, accompanied by pianist John Sweeney. Dan Ford will be the voice of Richard III and Gloucester; Andrina Carroll, Queen Elizabeth; Katie McIntyre, Lady Anne; Janet Amsden, Duchess of York and Queen Margaret; Richard Ashton, King Henry VI, Buckingham and Richmond; Phil Rowson, Clarence, Prince Edward and Hastings; Dan Wheeler, King Edward IV, First Murderer and Tyrrell; Dougie Buchanan, Edward, Prince of Wales and Freddie Buchanan, Richard, Duke of York.
Richard III’s life and reign famously inspired Shakespeare’s play, which told a version of the story that was "fun, vigorous, deadly and, importantly, pleasing to the Tudor regime". In a short and lively introduction, historian and archaeologist Dr Giles will discuss the King’s relationship with Middleham Castle, while Shakespeare expert Professor Buchanan will offer insights into the production as part of a broader Shakespearean performance history.
Arron Fishwick, assistant events manager for English Heritage says: “This is a really exciting event for us as we've never held one quite like it before."
Castle gates will open at 8pm. Tickets can be booked on 0870 333 1183.