Richard III, Loyalty Binds Me
William Shakespeare

Since 2012, FuturePerfect Productions and the French Director Jean Lambert-wild have been exploring ways to collaborate, first on a very ambitious project titled Don’t Mess With Texas, and then on a new adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Richard III.

After four years of intermittent working and several residencies, Richard III, Loyalty Binds Me will finally premiere January 19 – 29, 2016 at Théatre de l’Union – National Dramatic Center in Limoges. In this visually striking new version, Lambert-wild wanted all the parts to be played by two actors, necessitating inventive ways of representing dozens of other characters and apparitions that populate Richard’s world. After many meetings we decided upon animation as one strategy for expanding and visualizing this universe. In this short video, French dramatic center Comédie de Caen and FuturePerfect experiment with an animation pipeline and tracking system that they began building in 2014 at the University of Texas in Austin in association with the Departments of Digital Arts and Media Bridging Disciplines, Integrated Media with Live Performance and Fusebox Festival.

The Caen residency focused on streamlining the process for transforming live video into 3D animation, completing 3D models and rigging, and trying out various projection surfaces including balloons, cotton candy and plaster of paris objects. The team also experimented with various musical scores, sonic textures, voice and scenography.

About Richard III, Loyalty Binds Me Two actors with stark white clown makeup and blue striped pajamas confined to a darkened cell: one man, one woman. Together, as if possessed, they conjure up the shadow world of Shakespeare’s Richard III, as he plots to destroy a kingdom he believes has become disgraceful, corrupt and spineless. In twenty-one scenes, the two actors perform all the roles while maneuvering a nightmarish carnival of mechanical puppets, bloodied dolls, cotton candy, animations, balloons, a pulley-driven stuffed dummy and enormous spinning phantasmascopes. In this new stunning re-working of Shakespeare’s historical play set in a carnival of the mind on the verge of collapse, French actors Jean Lambert-wild and Elodie Bordas transform Richard III into a towering figure – a clown king made monstrous by the acts of others! Working against popular receptions of Richard as a calculating and ruthless king driven by political ambition, Lambert-wild’s Richard-as-clown is a figure of great complexity and paradoxes — attractive and repulsive, funny and melancholic, lonely and fearful.

Bordas, who embodies all of the other characters in the play’s universe, performs Richard’s Double, summoning up the ghosts and demons of his disordered and guilty mind and reflecting them back to himself. This refracting and doubling becomes even more layered as Lambert-wild confronts the recent archeological discovery of the real King Richard’s skeleton underneath a car park in Leicester and his subsequent royal re-burial in March 2015. The work confronts the audience with a dizzying funhouse that challenges our perceptions of the real, the historical, the fictional, the archaeological and the theatrical.

Richard III, Loyalty Binds Me delves into a phantasmagoric investigation of power, corruption, loyalty, vengeance and self- annihilation.

Creative Team

Théatre de l’Union – National Dramatic Center in Limoges

With: Elodie Bordas & Jean Lambert-wild
Direction: Jean Lambert-wild, Lorenzo Malaguerra & Gérald Garutti
Musique et spatialisation en direct : Jean-Luc Therminarias
Scénographie: Stéphane Blanquet & Jean Lambert-wild
Assistant à la scénographie: Thierry Varenne
Traduction : Gérald Garutti & Jean Lambert-wild
Lumières : Renaud Lagier
Costumes: Annick Serret Amirat
Armure en porcelaine de Limoges: Stéphane Blanquet & Christian Couty
Accessoires et marionnettes: Stéphane Blanquet & Olive
Régie générale : Claire Seguin
Régie audiovisuelle: Frédéric Maire
Régie son: Nourel Boucherk & Christophe Farion
Recherches et documentation : Alicya Karsenty
Assistanat à la dramaturgie: Zelda Bourquin
Décor construit: par les ateliers du Théâtre de l’Union sous la direction d’Alain Pinochet
Peintre décorateur: Claude Durand & Didier Martin
Costumes réalisés: par les ateliers de costumes du Théâtre de l’Union sous la direction d’Esther Pillot

FuturePerfect Productions
Founding Executive Producer of FuturePerfect Productions: Wayne Ashley
Project Coordinator: Lisa Reynolds
Technical Consultant, and TouchDesigner Specialist: Barry Threw
Directeur technique du système d’animation Pipeline et Rigging: Raffaele Scaduto-Mendola
Coordination régie audiovisuelle : Alban Van Wassenhoven

Avec la participation des acteurs et actrices de la séquence 8 de l’Académie de l’Union –Ecole Supérieure Professionnelle de Théâtre du Limousin pour la mise en place du Bauprobe

University of Texas, Austin
Avec la participation de l’University of Texas, Austin pour l’élaboration du système d’animation et de traitement vidéos
Professeur de radio, télévision, film et musique: Bruce Pennycook
Professeur associé, intégration média pour performance: Charlie Otte
Professeur d’informatique: Don Fussell
Administrateur de production: David Vieira
Président département théâtre: Brant Pope
Concepteur de systèmes de production tactile: Jared LeClaire
Comédiens: Kate Bender, Ryan Belock
Conception vidéo et lumière: Matthew Smith
Assistantes réalisatrices: Nathalie Novacek, Stephanie Busing
Logiciel MAYA: Nidhi Reddy, Jeff Kurihara
Logiciel Face Shift: Joao Biera et Yago de Quay
Réservations SAC: Victoria Shostak
SAC A/V & IT: Richard Stimpert
Film and editing by Mariana Gonzalez

Directeur artistique: Ron Berry
Directeur général: Brad Carlin
Producteur associé :Kim Turner
Center For Arts and Entertainment Technologies, University of Texas, Austin
Department of Integrated Media, University of Texas, Austin