Adjoa Andoh directs and stars in


Rose Theatre and Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse Theatres in association with Swinging the Lens

6 – 22 April 2023 at Liverpool Playhouse

26 April – 13 May 2023 at Rose Theatre

Rose Theatre and Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse Theatres today announce a new production of William Shakespeare’s Richard III. Following her critically acclaimed production of Richard II at Shakespeare’s Globe, Adjoa Andoh (Lady Danbury in Bridgerton) returns to the stage to direct and star as Shakespeare’s iconic antihero, Richard III. Richard III opens at Liverpool Playhouse on 11 April with previews from 6 April 2023 and plays at Rose Theatre from 26 April – 13 May 2023.

Rose Theatre today also announce Lord of the Flies (18 – 22 April 2023) and Peter Pan (1 December 2023 – 7January 2024).

Priority booking is now available for Richard IIILord of the Flies, and Peter Pan, with general booking open from Monday 5 December 2022.

A tale of ambition and manipulation, Richard III charts the rise of Richard, Duke of Gloucester, as he deceives and murders anyone who stands in his path to becoming King. 

Reflecting on her own childhood in rural England in the 1960s, Adjoa Andoh sets out to explore how pathologising the body and ascribing evil intent due to a person’s physical appearance can wear away at the soul. 

Adjoa Andoh said:

“When Christopher Haydon, Artistic Director of the Rose Theatre, asked me what I might be interested in directing for their 2023 spring season, Richard lll was top of my list. 

Richard is a character I have loved since childhood. Growing up in a tiny Cotswold village in the 1960s & 70s, I immediately felt a connection to someone singled out because of their appearance.

On first reading Shakespeare’s play as a child, I was outraged at the way Richard was portrayed, but now appreciate one of the questions Shakespeare posits – what happens to a person and their sense of self, if throughout their life bad intentions are ascribed to them based solely on their appearance? I call this body pathologising. It happens to many people in many circumstances across the world to this day, and in this production, I want to explore the story, and that question through the lens of race.

I’m delighted that the show is a co-production with Liverpool Playhouse, as my mother is a Liverpudlian, and finally I get to perform in her beloved city; our childhoods united on stage. I can’t wait to whip off the corsets and share this production with audiences in Liverpool and London next spring.”

Christopher Haydon, Artistic Director of Rose Theatre said:

“Starting with Richard III, the Rose continues to offer audiences fiercely fresh perspectives on familiar stories. I last collaborated with Adjoa Andoh in 2017 when I ran the Gate Theatre. I’m thrilled that she’s now bringing her ferocious intellect and incandescent stage presence to the Rose, in the first Shakespeare we’ve presented in my tenure here as Artistic Director. Adjoa will both direct and star in a no doubt powerful and provocative production, that will both entertain and challenge.

I’m delighted that we are partnering with Leeds Playhouse and the Belgrade Theatre to present Amy Leach’s startling new production of this epic and visceral story. Amy is a champion of creating accessible theatre, and this show will have creatively integrated audio description available at every performance. 

Our youth theatre will remain integral to our Christmas production which in 2023 will be a new version of Peter Pan. I’ve wanted to work with Evan Placey for many years – he is a terrifically talented writer with a particularly strong understanding of family audiences. I’ve no doubt that he and director Lucy Morrell, will be taking us on a very special trip to Neverland.”

Suba Das, Creative Director of the Liverpool Playhouse and Everyman said:

“Both the Playhouse and the Everyman have had a long history of incredible Shakespeare performances by Liverpool acting royalty from Pete Postlethwaite to David Morrissey to Kim Cattrall treading our boards in some of the bard’s most iconic roles. It’s an honour in my first year here to continue this proud tradition and with the team at Rose Theatre to entice Adjoa off the Bridgerton set and back to Liverpool (where her mum grew up) to take on Richard III, one of the greatest plays and characters ever written.  As both lead actor and director, Adjoa is assembling a stunning cast and creative team around her for a production that will examine race and trauma. It’s a timely reimagining and I’m so very proud our audiences at the Playhouse will be the first in the world to experience what will be one of the year’s theatrical highlights.”

2023 at the Rose continues with a contemporary staging of Lord of the Flies, adapted by Nigel Williams from the novel from William Golding, will be directed by Amy Leach, and is a Leeds Playhouse and Belgrade Coventry co-production in association with Rose Theatre.

Lord of the Flies made an immediate impact when it was first published as a novel in 1954 by Nobel Prize-winning British author William Golding. Almost 70 years later, its searing iconoclastic gaze remains intact, giving us the chance to reflect anew on modern society.

Next Christmas, an enchanting adventure awaits. 

Award-winning writer Evan Placey adapts J.M. Barrie’s children’s classic Peter Pan in a brand-new version directed by Lucy Morrell (Beauty and the Beast). Packed with song, dance, magic and featuring members of our talented Rose Youth Theatre, we promise to have you hooked.

Chasing his runaway shadow, a mischievous young boy crash lands through an open window and meets a headstrong young girl not yet ready to face growing up. With a sprinkle of fairy dust, they take flight on a whirlwind festive voyage across pirate ships, through mermaid lagoons and into the heart of Neverland.