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Renowned theatre cast including actor Ralph Fiennes pay tribute to Leicester in their reimagining of Shakespeares Richard III

A stellar acting cast featuring Hollywood stars has paid homage to our University in its unconventional retelling of Shakespeare's Richard III.

A star-studded line up of actors including Harry Potter villain Ralph Fiennes (Richard III) and Vanessa Redgrave (Queen Margaret) are currently at the Almeida theatre, in London, to perform the Bard's eponymous Machiavellian play about the notorious “poisonous bunch-back'd toad”, King Richard III.

However, the production, directed by Rupert Goold, features added scenes which show the 2012 discovery made by the University of Leicester Archaeological Services (ULAS) which brought the lost monarch back from historical obscurity, and thrust him once more into the public's consciousness.

The play begins with University archaeologists unearthing the Last Plantagenet's skeleton at the New Street car park, in Leicester's city centre.

The man behind the project of locating and exhuming the 500-year-old remains, Dr Richard Buckley, said he loved the idea that their achievement had been documented in the play.

“It’s great,” he said. “Absolutely. It’s a tough call meddling with Shakespeare – you don’t want to get it wrong. But other people have done it and got away with it, so good luck to them. Above all, though, if it highlights the work that we, the University, did then that’s fantastic. Even after four years, people are still recognising our achievement and the amazing discovery.”

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