Richard III : At the NAC Theatre, April 21-25

Ottawa, April 16 2015 - The Théâtre français is very pleased to present the most recent piece by Brigitte Haentjens, Shakespeare’s Richard III in a translation by Jean Marc Dalpé.  Sébastien Ricard, who incarnates the infamous and implacable Duke of Gloucester, is joined by an extremely talented cast that includes Sylvie Drapeau, Sophie Desmarais, Maxim Gaudette, Monique Miller and Marc Béland. This play – one of the most anticipated of the season – was sold out for five weeks when presented in Montreal. It will be performed at the NAC from Tuesday, April 21 to Saturday, April 25 at 7:30 p.m.

Crystal-clear. That is the term that springs to mind after seeing this Richard III. The text, the translation and the staging form a well-considered, cohesive ensemble that is clear and straightforward. One year of work and confident, emphatic directing make this production a great moment of theatre.

Mario Cloutier, La Presse

Brigitte Haentjens has once again staged a brilliant and commanding production, amazing in its precision and its evocative power.

Marie Villeneuve,

By sheer coincidence, the première of this version of the famous play took place at the moment when the mortal remains of the real Richard III (1452-1485) were given a royal burial in England. Shakespeare’s Richard III is the story of a lust for power. A brilliant, calculating and treacherous man pursues an irresistible ascension before enduring a fiery downfall. But it is also a tale of a thirst for vengeance. The Duke of Gloucester squirms and twitches under the gaze of others. On seeing the reflection of his shadow, he declares: “I am determined to prove a villain and hate the idle pleasures of these days.” In other words, if you have made me hideous, then extremely hideous shall I be!

Jean Marc Dalpé’s translation plays with many levels of language, allowing the spectator to smoothly follow the plotting and scheming, the twists and turns of the piece. It also highlights the role of the women, who resist and denounce, yet also remember. For Brigitte Haentjens, the important scenes of the play are those where Richard is with women.

In Richard III it is only the women who are clear-headed, perhaps because they have no power. It is they who openly express their opposition to barbarity, demanding explanations from Richard. I do not know whether Richard liked women, but at least they challenged him, forced him to do his best, while everyone else kowtows in cowardly fashion. For what Shakespeare so ruthlessly demonstrates is that we always have a choice – to submit or to stand firm – no matter what the circumstances and even when everything appears to be preordained.

Brigitte Haentjens

Brigitte Haentjens presents Richard III as a nuanced character, brilliant despite his perversity. A cynical, spellbinding character whose complexity is in line with our modern world, this is a chilling illustration of the ferocious struggles for power that continue to mark contemporary history.


For further information:

La figure de Richard III, Catherine Girardin, Cahier SIX du Théâtre français

Design de costumes: la garde-robe de Richard III, Isabelle Morin, La Presse

Dans l’atelier des traducteurs, Alexandre Cadieux, Le Devoir

Text: William Shakespeare // Translation: Jean Marc Dalpé // Directed by: Brigitte Haentjens // Cast: Sylvio Arriola, Marc Béland, Larissa Corriveau, Sophie Desmarais, Sylvie Drapeau, Francis Ducharme, Maxim Gaudette, Reda Guerinik, Ariel Ifergan, Renaud Lacelle-Bourdon, Louise Laprade, Jean Marchand, Monique Miller, Olivier Morin, Gaétan Nadeau, Etienne Pilon, Hubert Proulx, Sébastien Ricard, Paul Savoie and Emmanuel Schwartz // Assistant director and Stage manager: Colette Drouin // Dramaturge: Mélanie Dumont // Set design: Anick La Bissonnière // Costumes: Yso // Music: Bernard Falaise // Lighting: Etienne Boucher // Hair and makeup: Angelo Barsetti // Props: Julie Measroch // Video: Éric Gagnon // Movement coach: Christine Charles // Technical director: Jean-François Landry / Production manager: Sébastien Béland

Produced by Productions Sibyllines in collaboration with the Théâtre français of the NAC and the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde

Duration / 2h30 + intermission (1st  part / 1h40 –  2nd part/ 50 min)




Traduire Shakespeare en français, ici et aujourd’hui 

Meet Jean Marc Dalpé at the launch of his translation of Richard III published by Prise de parole

Get-together hosted by Catherine Voyer-Léger. The discussion will be followed by the launch of the Richard III translation published by Éditions Prise de parole. Produced by the Théâtre français, this event is organized in association with the Ottawa International Writers Festival, the Regroupement des éditeurs canadiens-français and Prise de parole.

April 22 at 5 p.m.

NAC Theatre lobby (53 Elgin St., Ottawa)


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