Paul Levy talks to Gregory Gudgeon and Lisa Wolfe about Puppet King Richard II





Paul Levy talks to Gregory Gudgeon and Lisa Wolfe about Puppet King RIchard II.

Returning to the very tiny subterranean but hugely atmospheric cave at ONCA Gallery after last Festival’s popular run, Pocket Epics’ “impishly creative” (The Stage) production, looks set to entrance audiences once again.

Ex-King Richard faces a big reckoning in a little cell. How could it come to this, his ragged prison walls? His nails are ruined. A golden age rewinds: good voices, bad choices, gilded loam and painted clay – was it all a show? Who was pulling his strings?

If the King isn’t in charge – then who is? In his prison cell Richard confronts the painful events that brought him so low. He recounts, with animation and puppets, his life, his betrayal, the mistake in exiling his cousin, who has usurped his mantle of Kingship. Now his rival and cousin Bullingbroke wears the crown.

With his excellent education, his desire for refinement, portraiture and gold, Richard II is said to have changed the monarchy. But his frivolous and autocratic manner was to bring about his downfall. As pertinent today as when it was set, Shakespeare’s gripping verse play is now vividly brought to life; by two actors, several puppets and a range of household utensils. Gregory Gudgeon (The Lion King, Complicite, Shakespeare’s Globe, RSC) is the King who can’t stop playing. With Gudgeon is actor Lucas Augustine. Lucas stage-manages the action, gradually taking over. He starts as subservient to the King and ends with his crown. Devised and performed by Lucas Augustine & Gregory Gudgeon, with direction by Linda Marlowe, designed by Willi Kerr, puppets by Jitka Davidkova & Brigitte Dörner.

Lucas Augustine, performer/stage manager
Played Dr. Treves in Bernard Pomerance’s The Elephant Man,
(Brighton Fringe ’16:), Leopold Bloom in James Joyce’s Ulysses (A Movable Feast), Picasso in Picasso, I Want My Face Back, Sheriff Picard in Montfort’s March and Phillip Carter in Ayckbourne’s Relatively Speaking. TV: Tracy Ullman’s Show. Lucas was a guitar maker and made the one he plays in the show.

Puppet King Richard II plsys at Brighton’s  ONCA Gallery. Book here
Paul Levy talks to Gregory Gudgeon and Lisa Wolfe about Puppet King Richard II


Also playing in May at the ONCA Gallery…


Premiere of Vincent Dance Theatre’s latest film installation for Brighton Festival
Movement, spoken word, rap and striking visuals collide in Charlotte Vincent’s powerful and darkly funny new film installation. Played across six screens, with an outstanding cast of performers, including three talented teenagers from East Sussex, SHUT DOWN investigates the pressures, contradictions and confusions of being a man.
SHUT DOWN was filmed on location in Newhaven and Kent by cinematographer Bosie Vincent, directed by Charlotte Vincent, ‘one of the most important feminist artists working in Britain today’ (The Observer).
Running time 60 minutes, looping on the hour, FREE ENTRY.
Launch Event // Wednesday 9 May, 6 – 8pm
Opening Times // Wednesday to Sunday 12 – 6pm

Jamal Harwood: Privileged
24-27 May, 6.30pm, £8 – £10
Have you ever seen a polar bear in the flesh? Been close enough to notice just how white these magnificent mammals are? Here is your chance to get up close and personal: remove your shoes, coats and bags, as you are about to encounter the Arctic’s whitest predator, with black skin. Join a well-trained member of staff as we enter the polar bear’s natural habitat and experience this animal like never before. Be one of the privileged few to say they have petted, played with and fed a polar bear as if you were one of the Arctic keepers.
“Searing and thoughtful” (The Guardian)
There will be a free audience-led post-show discussion for those who wish to stay.
The Privileged won ONCA’s first ever Green Curtain Award last year – don’t miss this new chance to see it in our pop-up courtyard theatre. Book your tickets through Brighton Fringe box office.