Entertainment & Arts

Richard III opera to premiere in London

RichardRocks poster Image copyright Viper Island/Sweden Productions
Image caption RichardRocks will feature 35 original songs

A Swedish rock opera about King Richard III is to get its world premiere in London this October.

RichardRocks is inspired by both Shakespeare's Richard III and Al Pacino's 1996 film Looking for Richard, according to its producers.

Swedish musical theatre star Fred Johanson will play Richard III, with the rest of the roles cast in London.

A service to mark the reburial of King Richard III took place at Leicester Cathedral last week.

"Don't expect this Richard to be a hunchback with a bad haircut," said writer Maria Robsahm. "Our Richard is a manipulative Machiavellian prince - a modern psychopath.

"Externally he is charismatic, handsome and witty. It's inside - morally and psychologically - that he's distorted.

"He knows how to get what he wants, whatever the cost," Robsahm continued. "He sees the people around him either as a means to an end or as obstacles to be removed."

'Out of the ordinary'

RichardRocks is scheduled to run from 3 October to 7 November at the People's Palace, an art deco theatre in London's East End.

It will feature 35 original songs by Peter and Maria Robsahm and will be directed by Staffan Aspegren.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Al Pacino's 1996 film Looking for Richard is cited as an influence

"RichardRocks is something out of the ordinary - both artistically and technologically," said Peter Robsahm.

"The show's music combines heavy rock with beautiful harmonies of a more classical cut."

Richard III, the last English king to die in battle, was killed at Bosworth Field in 1485, bringing an end to the Wars of the Roses.

His remains were found under a car park in Leicester in 2012.

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