Leicester

Petition over Richard III Leicester Cathedral show

Petition handover
Image caption The petition, with more than 1,300 signatures, has been handed to Leicester Cathedral

A petition against Shakespeare's Richard III being performed at the cathedral where the monarch is buried has attracted more than 1,300 signatures.

The organiser said the play portrays him as "evil" throughout so should not be performed where he rests.

The petition has been handed in to Leicester Cathedral.

Both the cathedral and theatre company Antic Disposition say they still intend to go ahead.

The play, which is touring the country, is due to be performed in Leicester on 19 and 20 July.

Image copyright Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
Image caption Richard III was reburied in the cathedral in a limestone tomb after being found underneath a car park in Leicester in 2012

Joanne Larner, petition organiser, said: "It is inappropriate and disrespectful to perform that play, which blackens his name, where he is buried. He is meant to be buried in dignity and honour.

"The whole play is completely degrading. He is displayed as the personification of evil."

Joanne, 59, of Essex, added she does not mind it being held somewhere else, just not the cathedral.

Extra dimension

A spokesman from Leicester Cathedral said it had no intention of changing its plans.

He said: "These performances will go ahead as we engage in the dynamics between the man and the myths of King Richard III. The performances will take place in the main body of the building. We continue to work with the public day by day to ensure that the King's grave is respected."

Ben Horslen and John Risebero, directors of Antic Disposition, added: "As a company that specialises in site-specific productions, we've found that staging Shakespeare's work in historic venues adds an extra dimension to his stories, and we are always excited to use our settings to allow audiences to connect with his work in new ways.

"Our two performances in Leicester Cathedral sold out within five days, demonstrating the support for and interest in the production."

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