Interview With… Riad Richie

The actor chatted to Emma Clarendon about starring in Shakespeare in the Squares production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

2018 As You Like It cast (c)James Millar

What can audiences expect from this production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream? A non-stop train of wonder, music, joy and sleight-of-hand.

What made you want to be part of this production? As well as not performing in this play before, this company really takes Shakespeare back to its roots. You get to perform on exclusive greens around London. There’s a real opportunity to test how much you can bring audiences in on verse alone without stage magic.

It’s quite a quirky concept touring a production around London’s private gardens and squares – do you think by doing this it will help bring communities closer together? This should have been done a lot sooner. I know a lot of people who feel Shakespeare can be hard to
access, so bringing it right on their doorstep and provoking new discoveries about the play should hopefully give audiences something to talk about over a beer.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is always immensely popular play to perform – what in your mind makes it a special play? It’s the perfect blend of comedy, high stakes and out right mania. It’s a great show to take you away from all the negative vibes you read on the daily.

How have rehearsals been going so far? I believe we laugh every 5 seconds, whilst miraculously making good progress each day. We are
turning into a proper little family.

Why do you think the play is still relevant for audiences today? When you talk about love, trust and betrayal, they are timeless concepts. The sensation of feeling out of control whilst things fall apart around you and the tugging of puppet strings is arguably relevant to Britain’s current political climate if you’d care to make that comparison. Otherwise, just

What are you most looking forward to about being part of Shakespeare in the Squares production? Being immersed at the locations just as much as the audience. I can’t wait to see how we can take advantage of each garden space to bring something fresh to each show.

By Emma Clarendon

A Midsummer Night’s Dream will be presented by Shakespeare in the Squares from the 19th June until the 11th July.

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