Richard III – Loyaulté me lie # 03

The least we can say is that the first images we have seen, of Jean Lambert-wild incarnating Richard III suggest it will be an atypical representation. Traditionally, we imagine Richard III as a sneering, monstrous, physically deformed character, limping from one scene to the other. When he insisted on the character’s deformity, Shakespeare was underlining Richard’s repulsive character, for himself and for others. Several performers – including Laurence Olivier, who did it with mastery and authority – decided however to emphasise his external monstrosity less, and rather locate the mad king’s monstrosity on the inside. This is an option that allows the character to evolve, using a palette richer and with more nuances to avoid the pitfall of creating a character who, from the start of the play, is absolutely repulsive.


Adopting the perspective of a clown – a clown who is strange, unsettling, terribly funny and unpredictable but also touching and melancholy – we are at once tapping into Shakespeare’s extreme standpoint and the nuances of the character, but with an original perspective that distances us from canonical interpretations of the character Richard III.

As an art form, clowning works with and explores whole scales of performance in all their richness. Like the character Richard III, who throws himself head first into every one of his endeavours, the clown plays his part entirely, not doing things by half, and with an infinity of possibilities. Such a decision echoes the spirit of Shakespeare’s writing – based on an emphatic version of the actual character.   

This clown, who is the alter ego that Jean Lambert-wild has been developing over the past fifteen years, wears striped pyjamas, a way of highlighting a sleepwalking quality that echoes the way Richard III follows reality as if it was a nightmare. As is traditional, the clown paints his face white. On his forehead, two black dots denounce the studs of infernal horns. At once monstrous and precious, funny and tragic, melancholy and strong-willed, this clown is a version of Richard that reflects all the paradoxes of humanity.  


Un clown, alité, face à son propre reflet, face à un double féminin qui se métamorphose, lui renvoyant l’image de...