THEATRE Richard III, Watershed Theatre Company, Fringe Club Theatre. September 9, 10. Reviewed by MICHAEL WAUGH THIS production is played out in terms of a vicious power game at the top of the business world in today's Hong Kong. The hectic pace of that world is matched by some pretty snappy direction, which helps to build up tension towards the halfway mark when Richard, Duke of Gloucester, has become king; and again in the second half, which culminates in Richard's defeat at Bosworth Field - actually, first-night gremlins caused this scene to be omitted, an oversight which surprisingly was not all disastrous. Affecting a limp and a tic as Richard's only obvious physical disabilities, Gareth Machin in the title rule stresses the character's inner deformity, which stems from his envy of the charm, beauty or social position of others. Thus, the seeds of Richard's ambition are clearly established. Mr Machin's Richard often chuckles, giggles and smiles chumpishly, for these are the defensive reactions of one who suffers from an extreme inferiority complex. Here indeed is an engaging performance that is only one step away from brilliance. The reason for this, I believe, is that Mr Machin also directed the play, and was therefore unable to immerse himself in the character. The portrayal of Queen Margaret, whose husband, Henry VI, was a victim of Richard's, is a theatrical gem that is casually tossed on to the stage to dazzle us. I refer to the chain-smoking, gin-swigging performance of Lottie Ross as the former Queen who threatens, encourages and prophecies the downfall of Richard. Miss Ross has a wonderful stage presence, and her command of Shakespeare's language is impressive.