Richard is a hunchback, but the physical deformity is the least of his problems. In BYU's current production of "Richard III," Jongiorgi Enos plays Shakespeare's tragic character as a smooth-talking, egotistical manipulator who will stop at nothing - including murder - to accomplish his evil designs. His performance is a credible one, from Richard's duplicitous cajoling in the first act to his mad outbursts toward the end.

The play, directed by Barta Heiner, is a satisfying production, with enough touches of humor to save it from dreariness, despite the series of murders that take place. (If this were a movie, it would have to be rated PG-13 for excessive violence.) Though the play lasts three hours, interest is kept high by the director's and actors' able interpretation of the script.>There is not a weak performance in the entire drama. Webster Latimer plays Buckingham, who taps into Richard's power by becoming his image-maker and a molder of public opinion, only to have Richard turn on him once he gains the crown.> Susan Whitenight portrays Richard's mother, sorrowing because of the deaths of Richard's siblings and her grandsons at his hands. Kara Tuckfield gives a dignified portrayal of Elizabeth, the eloquent queen who stands up to Richard, and Daniel Hess is the king. Kate Jensen is the banished Margaret, a witchy character whose eavesdropping allows her to be privy to Richard's evil schemings.

Marc Radice gives Radcliffe some individuality by his seemingly arrogant disinterest. Reese Purser plays Hastings, another "friend" of Richard's with the mistaken notion that his loyalty guarantees him safety from the mad king's treachery. Others in the cast are Marcus Detlor, Donald N. Bugg, Mary Ann Detlor, Craig Steiner, John Wardle, Corey E. Ewan, J. Todd Adams, Samuel Wood, Norman P. Dixon, Roger Benington, Veronique Enos, Chad Kearsley, Gavin Bently and Chris Bentley.

Excitement marked the well-choreographed battle scene and final duel, and the long applause at play's end Saturday evening was well deserved. Mention should also be given the lighting, the rotating set, designed by Rory R. Scanlon, and authentic-looking costumes designed by Janet Swenson. These elements combine with a strong cast for a solid, accessible "Richard III.">