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"He is never any match for Joseph Millson's Bolingbroke, who manages to blend passion with dignity even whilst the actor pays lip-service to Berkoffian stylistic excess."

Financial Times by Ian Shuttleworth  June 2005

"Congratulations, though, to Joseph Millson for presenting a darkly brooding Bolingbroke, who combines the pragmatic with the charismatic, and to Michael Cronin as John of Gaunt. He delivers the great "this sceptered isle" speech with such sincere dignity and feeling that he mercilessly exposes just how shoddy and trite the surrounding production is."

Daily Telegraph  by Charles Spencer June 2005

On a fine night, the louring walls of Ludlow Castle make an evocative setting for Steven Berkoff’s stylised production. Top hats and black malacca canes are the visual signature of a show that combines cartoon posturing and a commitment to articulating the text. Timothy Walker’s simpering Richard looks like Wagner, but becomes a broken Wilde when brought down by Joseph Millson’s Brunel-like Bolingbroke. Berkoff’s dislike of aristocratic rule is made clear when he undermines Gaunt’s “sceptred isle” speech with a soupy synthesizer that elsewhere adds a percussive edge to this Victorian melodrama. Despite silly silent-movie moments, this festival has again produced a sprightly piece of popular Shakespeare. Three stars

Robert Hewison Sunday Times July 2005

This production bears all the hallmarks of Steven Berkoff and, for the most part, to excellent effect. The cohesive ensemble work provides a silent, choreographed Greek chorus, commenting on, and reacting to, the main action. From the outset we are thrust into a world of posers, sycophants and duplicity at the court of King Richard II. Whether the king (Timothy Walker) accepts deposition and relinquishes the crown willingly or under Bolingbroke’s duress, and whether Bolingbroke (Joseph Millson) is a usurper of the crown or England’s saviour, is an ongoing debate, and this production offers no definitive conclusion.

Bolingbroke is presented as a charismatic leader in waiting, having the common touch and an eye to the main chance. Millson handles the role with a fine physical presence and near-perfect technique. He allows us to believe that in Bolingbroke “our tardy apish nation” has a rescuer.

The Stage Prue Britten July 2005