Entertainment & Arts

Donmar Warehouse's Richard II gets good reviews

Eddie Redmayne in Richard II. Photo by Johan Persson
Image caption Redmayne previously appeared at the Donmar in 2009. Photo Johan Persson

Critics have been impressed by the Donmar Warehouse's staging of Richard II, Michael Grandage's final show as the London venue's artistic director.

The Times called it "a fitting final flourish to Grandage's Donmar years", while the Telegraph said it found him "at his lucid, atmospheric best".

In the Independent, Paul Taylor said it was "a terrific way for Grandage to end 10 years of superlative stewardship".

Eddie Redmayne plays the title role in William Shakespeare's history play.

The 29-year-old previously appeared at the Donmar in its 2009 play Red and can currently be seen in the film My Week with Marilyn.

The British actor, said the Telegraph's Charles Spencer, is "often mesmerising" as a Richard who is "by turn grandiose, camp, maudlin and self-dramatising".

His sentiments were echoed by The Times' Libby Purves, who said he showed "great delicacy" in expressing "the trapped, vacillating self-doubt of a man who knows that the role he was born to is beyond him".

Yet The Guardian's Michael Billington expressed reservations about Redmayne's performance, claiming Grandage had "for once asked too much of a rising star".

So did Quentin Letts in the Mail, who said the actor was "simply too good-looking to play a character this problematic".

Since taking over from Sam Mendes, Grandage has enjoyed a string of successes at the Donmar that include such acclaimed productions as Guys and Dolls, Frost/Nixon and King Lear with Sir Derek Jacobi.

Last month, the 49-year-old - who was made a CBE in June for services to drama - announced he was setting up his own production company.

Josie Rourke, formerly artistic director of the Bush theatre in west London, will take over Grandage's role at the Donmar in the New Year.

Richard II - which also stars Andrew Buchan as Bolingbroke, the future King Henry IV - continues at the Donmar until 4 February.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites