How was your experience?
This was an ambitious undertaking. I enjoyed myself thoroughly but had a few problems with the production overall. Shakespeare is difficult and to employ the conceit of a 1970s motorcycle club is a clever way to make it accessible. However, a successful enactment of Shakespeare also recognizes that the complexity of language requires nuance — pauses, facial expressions, gestures — that help the audience member glean the intention of otherwise complex articulations. This production moved at breakneck pace (how else does one produce Richard III in 75 minutes?) and so there were liberties taken with the script that I completely understand. The use of classic rock helped maintain the speed of the rising action and was — on the one hand — much appreciated (for we lovers of that genre); on the other hand, it was extremely distracting and too loud. I had a hard time zooming in, for example, on RIchard's opening soliloquy while simultaneously humming along to the Rolling Stones. Don't get me wrong — the music choices matched the scenes cleverly. But it was not necessary to play them throughout the scene. The director should opt to use them as suggestions and then — artfully — move them to barely a whisper. The acting was solid — there were only a couple of weak links. The fourth wall was broken a few times. As an audience member, I really enjoy this kind of directorial choice but would have liked for it to have been maintained consistently (it was rather straightforward theatre without this aspect over the final third of the play). Finally, we saw this production on opening night — there is no doubt that the energy of the cast might have actually shaved 10 minutes off the actual time. I'd recommend that you go see it. But I also hope the director recognizes the challenge of Shakespeare for audience members but slowing down the action and turning down the music.