Philippa Gregory to make playwriting debut in 2024 with ‘RICHARD, MY RICHARD’

Bestselling historical author Philippa Gregory will make her playwriting debut in 2024 with RICHARD, MY RICHARD an innovative new stage play inspired by Shakespeare’s Richard III, that will bring to life one of history’s most twisted and enigmatic characters; a passionate, tender portrait of man in his time, surrounded by the women who determine his fate.

This world premiere, directed by Katie Posner, will launch at Shakespeare North Playhouse in Prescot from 8 to 30 March 2024, and then play at Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds from from 12 to 27 April 2024.

With an explosion of tarmac Leicester City Car park erupts and Richard III crashes from his lost tomb to meet the character who has ruined his reputation: History – the record keeper who doesn’t always have his mind on the task. 

Richard believes he has risen from the grave to heaven with an unstained conscience, and the awkward task falls to History (sorry History)- to tell the Undead King that all is not as he imagines. 

As Richard challenges, History admits he has his own doubts. He is often revered as the bearer of truth. Yet, his perspective is skewed. History overlooks people and stories.

Funny, poignant, and underpinned by the facts of the past, Richard’s secrets may have died with him, here he rises up to tell us the story, his story, History. 

Dr Philippa Gregory CBE is one of the world’s foremost historical novelists. Philippa’s latest book, NORMAL WOMEN – 900 YEARS OF MAKING HISTORY, due to be published 26 October 2023 with HarperCollins, is a history of women in England over nine centuries, from the Norman invasion in 1066 to women’s ordination into the Church of England in 1994.

Philippa Gregory said:

I was inspired to write this play after having the privilege to attend the internment of Richard lll at Leicester. I wanted to write a play about the real Richard and the people – especially the influential women- around him. Then the most important character walked into the play – History – who in an absent-minded moment has given us such a dark picture of the king whose motto was loyalty and whose passion was chivalry.”

This producing partnership between Shakespeare North Playhouse – a replica Shakespearean Playhouse opened in 2022 – and Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds – the last working Regency theatre in England – showcases their shared ambition to stage great contemporary theatre in historic settings.

RICHARD, MY RICHARD is produced by Shakespeare Playhouse North and Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds, in association with Daniel Schumann.

Additional creative team and casting will be announced in due course.

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