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The Tragedy of Richard III (1983)

The Tragedy of Richard III

A play adapted for television, and first broadcast on 23 January 1983, 7.15pm (BBC).

Running time: 3 hours and 59 minutes


The Tragedy of Richard III image #0The Tragedy of Richard III image #2

The first photo shows Lady Anne Neville (played by ZoŽ Wanamaker) grieving over the corpse of her husband, Edward, Prince of Wales (Dorinan Ford).  The second and third photos also show Anne, who is joined by the Duchess of York (Annette Crosbie) in the latter.

With thanks to Nadine for these photos.


This programme is a traditional adaptation of The Tragedy of Richard III, which chronicles the ruthless monarch's rise to power and brief reign, during the fifteenth century. 

When Edward, Prince of Wales, dies, his widow, Lady Anne Neville, falls under Richard's malevolent spell.  Scheming Richard ingratiates himself with the young noblewoman, despite confiding to the audience that he is responsible for the deaths of both Edward and his father.  Anne becomes a pawn in Richard's pursuit of power.

The programme is particularly notable for preserving almost all of Shakespeare's text and is presented very much like a stage performance, with a relatively spartan set.  It was produced for the extraordinarily ambitious BBC Television Shakespeare series, in which thirty-seven of our greatest playwright's works were broadcast between 1978 and 1985.


Richard III ... Ron Cook
Henry VI ... Peter Benson
Queen Margaret ... Julia Foster
Queen Elizabeth ... Rowena Cooper
Lady Anne Neville ... ZoŽ Wanamaker
Duchess of York ... . Annette Crosbie
Edward IV ... Brian Protheroe
Sir Richard Ratcliffe ... Anthony Brown
Sir William Catesby ... David Burke
Duke of Buckingham ... Michael Byrne
Jane Shore ... Anne Carroll
Earl Rivers ... Paul Chapman
Henry, Earl of Richmond ... Brian Deacon
Young Duke of York ... Jeremy Dimmick
Lord Stanley ... Tenniel Evans
Sir Robert Brakenbury, Earl of Surrey ... Derek Farr
Edward, Prince of Wales ... Dorinan Ford
Sir Thomas Vaughan ... Derek Fuke
Marquess of Dorest ... Alex Guard
Sir William Brandon ... Bernard Hill
George, Duke of Clarence ... Paul Jesson
Lady Margaret Plantagenet ... Patsy Kensit
Halberdier, Lord Lovell ... Oengus MacNamara
Ghost of the Prince of Wales ... Nick Reding
Sir James Tyrrel ... Mark Wing-Davey
Duke of Norfolk ... Peter Wyatt
Lord Grey, Lord Mayor of London ... Arthur Cox
Lord Hastings ... David Daker

Several other actors play servants, etc.


Writer: William Shakespeare
Director: Jane Howell
Producer: Shaun Sutton
Costume Designer: John Peacock
Sound: Alan Edmonds


The Tragedy of Richard III Region 2 DVD

The BBC TV Shakespeare Collection Region 1 DVD Boxset (contains The Tragedy of Richard III, alongside all of the other plays in the series)

Richard III by William Shakespeare

Related links

The Tragedy of Richard III guide - BFI Screenonline

The Tragedy of Richard III summary - BBC Drama's 60 Second Shakespeare

The Tragedy of Richard III production information - IMDB

The Tragedy of Richard III production information - BFI Film & TV Database

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