Lazarus Theatre Company, the leading classics theatre company, are about to stage Richard III at the Blue Elephant Theatre in Camberwell.
We spoke to their new leading man, Prince Plockey, who is about to take on the title role of the tyrant king.
Check out our interview in which Plockey tells us a bit about how he intends to interpret the role as well as about how he came to be cast as Shakespeare’s ultimate anti-hero.
What’s your background as an actor?
Growing up I was part of Spotlites, a local theatre company based in Kent and also joined the National Youth Theatre in 2007. I always knew I would love to act but never really took it seriously till I left secondary school. I completed my three-year training at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts and graduated in 2013.
How did you come to audition for Lazarus Theatre Company?
A friend of mine linked me to their audition post on Facebook. I took a look at their page and thought, why not? It seems funny when it is as simple as that.
Did you audition for the title role?
Well, I went in knowing I would like to play Richard and did my best interpreting the opening speech we were given to learn.
There’s Othello and one or two others, but do you think the absence of black characters in Shakespeare is limiting for black actors?
Yes and no. I think we are in a time where ethnic minorities have more opportunities to play roles they probably would not have many years ago. It has become less of a taboo and it is great to see a black Hamlet or Romeo or in this case Richard. There is still a long way to go reach a certain equilibrium, but it’s refreshing to see more diversity on our stage and screen. We’re surrounded constantly by diversity and not to replicate that on these platforms fails to highlight where we are in the 21st Century.
How are you approaching the character of Richard III?
I want to try and find the human behind the tyrant. It would be great to see and understand his reasons for his actions because there is much more to him than just wanting to be king.
What are you hoping audiences will feel towards him?
If anyone is able to feel and empathise with him then I reckon I’d be satisfied. It is not as effective if there’s a distance between him and the audience. I guess I want them to identify him as a normal everyday being and not see him just as a brute, but to understand the brain behind the horror.
Have you been inspired by any previous interpretations?
A friend bought to my attention a film that Al Pacino directed many years ago entitled ‘Looking for Richard’. It’s a strange mix of documentary and drama giving insight into their rehearsal process as well as his own exploration of the text. You learn a lot about Richard and the play.
How are you finding the rehearsal process?
We do not start for another couple weeks yet. We’ve a few workshops lined up as well as the filming of the trailer but I’m really excited to meet everyone.
Are there any Shakespearean characters you’ve not played yet that you’d love to tackle?
I would love to re tackle some the characters I have played in previous roles, though I’m still yet to play Othello so that’s top of my list.
You can see Lazarus Theatre Company’s production of Richard III, starring Prince Plockey in the lead role, at the Blue Elephant Theatre from 4th – 29th March. To find out how to book, visit the Blue Elephant Theatre website.