100 Things: See a play by Shakespeare

Seeing one of Shakespeare’s plays performed live is on my list of 100 things to do just for the hell of it. Yesterday I saw Orkater’s adaptation of Richard III starring Gijs Scholten van Aschat at the Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam, so that’s another one down.

Apart from my seat — there is no legroom on the first row of the balcony — it was a marvelous experience. Given that I was not at all familiar with this particular play, three hours seemed a little daunting. But exactly the main reason I went to see this particular play made it so rewarding: the integration of Tom Waits’ music. Not that I’m at all familiar with his work, but the combination worked effortlessly. You see, Richard III is about obsession with power and descend into madness. And for that, Waits’ songs, in all their sprawling chaos, is a great fit. Sure, the singing wasn’t top notch, but then again, Tom Waits isn’t a great singer. So the acting was great, the music was great, and visually it was sparse but effective. The stage ended up a grandiose mess. It was a great way to spend an evening.

Seen live
Orkater, Richard III at Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam on August 16th, 2011
Gijs Scholten van Aschat, Petra Laseur, Trudy de Jong, Mieke de Groote, Nettie Blanken, Kaspar Schellingerhout, Viktor Griffioen, Erik van der Horst, Guy Clemens, David Lucieer, Rudolf Lucieer, Matthijs van de Sande Bakhuyzen, Steven Joles, Mattias van de Vijver, and Bas Maassen
Creative team
Directed by Matthijs Rümke; Adapted by Gijs Scholten van Aschat and Janine Brogt; Music by Tom Waits, Kathleen Brennan; Musical direction by Vincent van Warmerdam