5 episodes

FROM OPEN AIR TO ON THE AIR! Join WNYC and The Public Theater as we bring Free Shakespeare in the Park to the airwaves with William Shakespeare’s RICHARD II. Brought to you in a serialized radio broadcast over four nights, listen as the last of the divinely anointed monarchs descends and loses it all. When King Richard banishes his cousin Henry Bolingbroke and deprives him of his inheritance, he unwittingly creates an enemy who will ultimately force him from the throne. One of the Bard’s only dramas entirely in verse, this epic and intimate play presents the rise of the house of Lancaster through a riveting tale of lost sovereignty, political intrigue, and psychological complexity. Directed by Saheem Ali, experience this beautiful and cutting play in an exciting serialized radio format from wherever you are.
“A fractured society. A man wrongfully murdered. The palpable threat of violence and revenge against a broken system. Revolution and regime change. This was Shakespeare’s backdrop for Richard II. I’m exceptionally proud of this production, recorded for public radio with a predominantly BIPOC ensemble, led by the extraordinary André Holland,” said director Saheem Ali. “It’s my hope that listening to Shakespeare’s words, broadcast in the midst of a pandemic and an uprising, will have powerful resonance in our world.”
In support of the fight against racism and inequality and in recognition of the unspeakable violence against Black communities, The Public Theater and the artists of RICHARD II dedicate this production to the Black Lives Matter Movement.

Free Shakespeare on the Radio: Richard II WNYC and The Public

    • Arts
    • 4.2 • 162 Ratings

FROM OPEN AIR TO ON THE AIR! Join WNYC and The Public Theater as we bring Free Shakespeare in the Park to the airwaves with William Shakespeare’s RICHARD II. Brought to you in a serialized radio broadcast over four nights, listen as the last of the divinely anointed monarchs descends and loses it all. When King Richard banishes his cousin Henry Bolingbroke and deprives him of his inheritance, he unwittingly creates an enemy who will ultimately force him from the throne. One of the Bard’s only dramas entirely in verse, this epic and intimate play presents the rise of the house of Lancaster through a riveting tale of lost sovereignty, political intrigue, and psychological complexity. Directed by Saheem Ali, experience this beautiful and cutting play in an exciting serialized radio format from wherever you are.
“A fractured society. A man wrongfully murdered. The palpable threat of violence and revenge against a broken system. Revolution and regime change. This was Shakespeare’s backdrop for Richard II. I’m exceptionally proud of this production, recorded for public radio with a predominantly BIPOC ensemble, led by the extraordinary André Holland,” said director Saheem Ali. “It’s my hope that listening to Shakespeare’s words, broadcast in the midst of a pandemic and an uprising, will have powerful resonance in our world.”
In support of the fight against racism and inequality and in recognition of the unspeakable violence against Black communities, The Public Theater and the artists of RICHARD II dedicate this production to the Black Lives Matter Movement.

    Richard II: Episode 4

    Richard II: Episode 4

    Richard is imprisoned and Bolingbroke is now King Henry. But the new king immediately faces new challenges: The Duke of York discovers that men still loyal to Richard intend to stage a coup. And a member of Henry’s court, a knight named Exton,  believes Henry has tasked him with killing Richard.

    DIVE DEEPER INTO RICHARD II:

    Read the radio play script for RICHARD IIRead an episode-by-episode synopsis of RICHARD IICast and Characters - Visual Guide 

    For more information about Free Shakespeare on the Radio and Richard II, visit wnyc.org/shakespeare 

    • 57 min
    Richard II: Episode 3

    Richard II: Episode 3

    Bolingbroke’s power increases, and his men urge him to claim more than just his stolen inheritance. Bolingbroke confronts Richard at Flint Castle, and the king agrees to return to London. Back in court, Bolingbroke moves to depose the king. Will Richard give up the crown on his own? Or will Bolingbroke have to take seize it?

    DIVE DEEPER INTO RICHARD II:

    Read the radio play script for RICHARD IIRead an episode-by-episode synopsis of RICHARD IICast and Characters - Visual Guide 

    For more information about Free Shakespeare on the Radio and Richard II, visit wnyc.org/shakespeare 

    • 57 min
    Richard II: Episode 2

    Richard II: Episode 2

    King Richard’s wealthy uncle, John of Gaunt, is on his deathbed, heartbroken over the banishment of his son, Bolingbroke. Gaunt hopes to warn Richard about the dire state of the kingdom, but the king does not heed his warning. When Gaunt dies, Richard claims Gaunt’s inheritance — intended for the banished Bolingbroke — and uses it to fund a war with Ireland. But Richard finds that success at home does grant success at home: Many of his most loyal nobles have defected or been executed, his forces have abandoned their posts, and Bolingbroke has returned from banishment. 

    DIVE DEEPER INTO RICHARD II:

    Read the radio play script for RICHARD IIRead an episode-by-episode synopsis of RICHARD IICast and Characters - Visual Guide 

    For more information about Free Shakespeare on the Radio and Richard II, visit wnyc.org/shakespeare 

    • 57 min
    Richard II: Episode 1

    Richard II: Episode 1

    The Duke of Gloucester has been murdered. Now the young King Richard must settle a dispute between two members of his court, Thomas Mowbray and Henry Bolingbroke, over who is responsible for the killing. Richard calls for a trial by combat, and the men prepare to face one another in a fight to the death. But just as it is beginning, Richard abruptly ends the fight, banishing both men instead.

    DIVE DEEPER INTO RICHARD II:

    Read the radio play script for RICHARD IIRead an episode-by-episode synopsis of RICHARD IICast and Characters - Visual Guide 

    For more information about Free Shakespeare on the Radio and Richard II, visit wnyc.org/shakespeare 

    • 57 min
    Coming Soon: Richard II

    Coming Soon: Richard II

    FROM OPEN AIR TO ON THE AIR! Join WNYC and The Public Theater as we bring Free Shakespeare in the Park to the airwaves with William Shakespeare’s RICHARD II. Brought to you in a serialized radio broadcast over four nights, listen as the last of the divinely anointed monarchs descends and loses it all. When King Richard banishes his cousin Henry Bolingbroke and deprives him of his inheritance, he unwittingly creates an enemy who will ultimately force him from the throne. One of the Bard’s only dramas entirely in verse, this epic and intimate play presents the rise of the house of Lancaster through a riveting tale of lost sovereignty, political intrigue, and psychological complexity. Directed by Saheem Ali, experience this beautiful and cutting play in an exciting serialized radio format from wherever you are.

     

    “A fractured society. A man wrongfully murdered. The palpable threat of violence and revenge against a broken system. Revolution and regime change. This was Shakespeare’s backdrop for Richard II. I’m exceptionally proud of this production, recorded for public radio with a predominantly BIPOC ensemble, led by the extraordinary André Holland,” said director Saheem Ali. “It’s my hope that listening to Shakespeare’s words, broadcast in the midst of a pandemic and an uprising, will have powerful resonance in our world.”

     

    In support of the fight against racism and inequality and in recognition of the unspeakable violence against Black communities, The Public Theater and the artists of RICHARD II dedicate this production to the Black Lives Matter Movement.

    • 2 min

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5
162 Ratings

162 Ratings

KateCrest ,

Excellent, welcoming, powerful

This production of RICHARD II boasts a stellar production job from one of the best public radio stations in the US. It was directed and, well, “staged,” by Shakespeare in the Park. (Yes, THAT Shakespeare in the Park.) It stars some of the best Shakespearean actors in the world.

The cast allow genuine & present-day emotion to inform a faithful performance of the original text. Solely via audio, this approach creates fresh, fully realized characters who feel like real people. All of this—the production, the direction, the acting—makes the whole show super accessible, even if you don’t “speak Shakespeare”. You could even skip the short bookend segments that recap & set the scene before each episode and comment on the production after.

Despite this, I would encourage listeners to give these segments a chance. They’re not lectures explaining every scene. They’re more like a very good commentary track for a movie. Even if your original inclination is to skip it, give it a shot. It’s worthwhile.

A note on the podcast’s star rating: this production features a Black director and a huge number of Black and POC actors. It also includes several women playing male characters. Actors talk in their commentary on how it felt to record a play about civil unrest during a civil rights struggle and a pandemic. At the start of each episode, the production itself is dedicated to the BLM movement. Given this, it seems unfortunately likely that the startling number of folks who gave this podcast one star did so for political reasons that are... well, you know what they are.

So ignore the star rating average and check out this production. You’ll be blown away. You will FEEL THINGS. It’s spectacular, something truly special, and I hope we see lots more from this partnership.

Diplomat Brat ,

Wow wow wow

This was absolutely incredible
Please do more shows and everyone please share!

jspeyton ,

FANTASTIC!

I am thoroughly enjoying this podcast. I don’t know why/how this is less than 4.5 stars but for me, I have only one thing to say - More Please!!!!! I know a lot of work went into creating this podcast theatre, but I would love to see more podcasts bringing Shakespeare to modern, diverse audiences. Highly recommended.

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