BUCKFIELD — Carol MacBride had driven from Hartford, grabbed a seat in the second row and had no idea what to expect.

It didn’t matter.

“Mike Miclon is just amazing,” she said. “I just know it’s going to be funny.”

Nearly 200 people turned out for a sold-out screening of the final cut of Miclon’s “Richard3” on Saturday night at the Buckfield Junior-Senior High School.

In quick remarks before the show, Miclon said 16 people in the production were alumni of the school’s drama club. 

The film, which had a $65,000 budget, shot for 26 days over eight months at places like Fort Popham in Phippsburg, Lewiston’s former St. Patrick’s Church and his father-in-law’s field and barn.

He gave shout-outs to the cast and extras, which included his parents, Mary and Raymond Miclon.

“In the coronation scene, my mother is a queen and he’s a peasant — it was basically type-casting for both,” Miclon joked.

Then, it was show time.

“Richard3” opens with three minutes of undeniably adorable arts-and-crafts puppets representing and introducing the cast.

The setup: William Shakespeare’s story, “Richard III,” is being told to a room of very young school kids. 

Soon Miclon appears as Richard with a humped back, miserable teeth, black wig and a devious twinkle, delivering a speech inside castle walls. Before long, he’s plotting to kill his way to becoming the king of England.

It’s Shakespeare — but not entirely.

For the next almost two hours, the famous soliloquies and original text are mixed with humorous asides and decidedly 21st-century banter.

Throughout the movie, Richard addresses and schemes to the camera, to the point that there’s a running gag of other characters asking, puzzled, “Who are you talking to?”

After he hits on the widow Lady Anne — she’s young, full of attitude, chewing gum, and Richard has just killed her husband — she tells him, “I think I just threw up in my mouth.”

Matthew Tardy stands out among a lot of funny, solid performances as Lord Buckingham, Richard’s perky, put-upon right-hand man. (His brother, Jason, the other half of The Tardy Brothers, appears as a merry gravedigger.)

Tardy and Miclon co-wrote the stage comedy performed in 2005 at the Oddfellow Theater that Miclon eventually wrote the “Richard3” screenplay from. Pre-production started in 2011. Shooting began in the summer of 2012 and the first cut debuted at the Emerge Film Festival in 2014.

Miclon, who also was director and executive producer, said the version shown Saturday is film-festival ready and about 20 minutes shorter than the original.

“It’s funny, it’s Shakespeare — there’s a lot of ground to cover,” he said. “I’m very happy with it. I love it, of course. You don’t have to know Shakespeare to love it, but it certainly helps. There’s a lot of extra inside jokes if you understand the original text, but it’s still accessible.”

In addition to his parents, many family members were behind the scenes: Sons Collin and Shane, his wife, Kim, and his daughter-in-law, Sierra Miclon, who made costumes and the puppets.

Next up is sending “Richard3” off to film festivals.

“We’re in that selection process right now; there’s only about 10,000 to choose from,” Miclon said. “We’re going to do some international. Most will go in the United States. We’re going to try to do some of the big ones just for fun, just to see what happens, and go from there.”

After the festival circuit, he hopes to see “Richard3” on DVD and digital streaming video, likely next year.

Mike Newton from Buckfield, who had spent a day in the hot sun as an extra in the big battle scene, said he’d taken his wife to an early screening more than a year ago.

“It was a hoot,” he said. “She just roared.”

So they were back again.

George Dunn from Hartford, who plays George the security guard in the movie, a convincing straight-man to Miclon’s Richard, said it was his first major role.

“I do concrete for a living, not acting — I like to eat,” he said.

He, too, had caught an earlier version more than a year ago and was curious to see the changes.

“I don’t lie — I enjoyed it,” Dunn said. “If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have spent $7 to come see it again.”

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