Martin Freeman talks Richard III: “He assumes the world is his for the taking”

The Trafalgar Transformed season sees the Sherlock star take on the title role of a man plagued by "deep insecurity" in Shakespeare's history play


This week Martin Freeman takes to the London stage as the lead in the Trafalgar Transformed production of Shakespeare’s Richard III, a role he says is full of both violence and humour.


“I think it’s a very witty play. It’s a very funny play as well as it being tragic, and some of it is horrible and some of it is really violent and quite gruesome. There’s definitely a lot of humour in there.”

Jamie Lloyd’s play will chart Richard’s attempts to claw his way to political power; a plan filled with deceit and betrayal.

Freeman, who is seen sporting a rugged beard in this brand new cast video, admits that behind his character’s bravado are deep-rooted insecurities. 

“When you first see Richard he has a great confidence that’s fuelled by insecurity, and fuelled by deep insecurity about how he looks because he has a hump and a dodgy leg and a dodgy arm.

“He’s never been one for the ladies. No-one’s ever thought of him as a player in any form.”

It’s the aftermath of the civil war, and as Freeman explains, Richard “assumes that the world is his for the taking and all he’s got to do is convince everyone else in the world of the same thing.”

Gina McKee (Notting Hill, Our Friends in the North, Di & Viv & Rose) plays Queen Elizabeth, while Mark Meadows joins the cast as Clarence/Lord Mayor. 

Meadows says, “There’s a real sense of something terrible is going to happen at any time.”


Richard III runs from 1 July through to 27 September 2014. For all ticket details visit