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The Last Plantagenet: The Life And Times of Richard III



Performed by The Leeds Waits

When: Tuesday 02 July, 20.30-21.30
Where: Stage@Leeds: Stage 2
Price: £14.50

When Richard III, king of England for only two years, died in battle on 22 August 1485, the royal house of Plantagenet lost the crown after more than 300 years, and Richard became one of England's most controversial monarchs.  Did he murder his way to the throne, as immortalised by Shakespeare, or was he a good man slandered by his enemies, as has been argued more recently?  Or perhaps he was neither - just a child of a bitter civil war who learned early to get his retaliation in first?

The Leeds Waits look at Richard's story through the eyes of two women of the York merchant/political class.  There's history, scandal, speculation and the music of the period to help the tale along.  But did he really murder his nephews - only 10 and 12 years old? Everyone with an interest in the period has an opinion but who knows?  Perhaps we never will.

The city of Leeds had waits to serve as its official musicians, as far back as 1530, a century before the borough had a royal charter. The Leeds Waits continued to serve the city until their abolition in 1835. Revived in 1983, with appropriate music, instruments, and livery, the current Leeds Waits cover the period from the 15th to the early 18th centuries. Over the years, they have performed many times at the IMC, in concerts, as strolling minstrels, and also providing incidental music in plays.