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RSC Richard III Hit or Miss?


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#1 Guest_Waldo_*

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Posted 18 February 2007 - 10:44 PM

I know there was a thread about this production previous to the alterations, but i cannot find it, so apologies! But, Richard III. I saw this last night after the Henrys before it. There was something missing, but I could not put my finger on it. My boyfriend hated it, I enjoyed it, although there was not much of a spark. So, what did you think of it?

#2 Lynette

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Posted 19 February 2007 - 02:06 AM

The RSC one ? Yes, you are right. What was it? I loved Jonathan Slinger but hated the modern dress. I wish they had gone with the original production and not tried to make it 'relevant'. With somethign so brilliant as this play, the 'relevance' is there for all to see.

#3 Duncan

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Posted 19 February 2007 - 09:37 AM

Have to agree with Lynette about the modern dress. Particularly after seeing the three parts of Henry VI in period costume, it was jarring to see the same cast running around with modern guns. Directors seem to love helicopter sound effects etc. all in attempt to make it relevant to today. If the director can see the relevance in the text then so will an intelligent audience. I was left wondering why two armies with guns and helicopters were meeting in a field to fight hand-to-hand. Surely a few air-to-ground missiles would have been more effective?

There was also something else missing from the production. I found Slinger much more menacing in 3 Henry VI. By the time he's become Richard III some of the menace has gone and he's more Puckish; possibly because I also saw him as Puck at the RSC a few years back.

I did like the way that in the dream sequence Richard awakes to find himself free of his deformities and dances around, only for the ghosts to arrive and reinflict them on him.

But please, don't mix swords and revolvers in the same production!

#4 simon from oxford

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Posted 19 February 2007 - 09:56 AM

I saw the second performance and by all accounts a lot of the ideas have been altered as the production developed.

There were moments of brilliance (such as the dream sequence) and I am glad that some of the early excesses (Lady Anne making her oration over the body using a microphone) have been expunged.

As a whole it didn't blow me away as the McKellen did all those years ago - but I was left satisfied by the end of the evening.  It was certainly a better show than the Goodman version.

It might well develop further as the ensemble works further.  Once we get the cycle of all 8 plays completed, I shall certainly go back and reconsider it as a whole

#5 Alnoor

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Posted 19 February 2007 - 10:32 AM

We also saw all 4 plays last weekend. Loved the three Henry VI-----hated Richard III. Just felt it was a complete let down after part 3.

#6 Guest_alexandra_*

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Posted 19 February 2007 - 11:22 AM

I liked them all very much. Richard III is a very different play so I appreciated the difference in style.

I'm really looking forward to Jonathan Slinger's Richard II (such a contrast with III), Clive Wood's Bolingbroke and Geoffrey Streatfeild's Henry V. What a fantastic undertaking the "Octology" is.

#7 David

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Posted 19 February 2007 - 05:40 PM

QUOTE(Duncan @ Feb 19 2007, 09:37 AM) View Post
But please, don't mix swords and revolvers in the same production!


I'd agree with that- I really enjoyed the production as a whole, and enjoyed the modern interpretation, but thought that the mixture of swords and guns was odd.

I saw the Henrys and Richard about as far apart as I possibly could, so it wasn't jarring at all for me to see the change to modern dress, and I thought that all (of the 4) plays were fantastic.

On a random drift away from the topic, did anyone else do all 3 Henrys in one day? That was great fun- a full day of story, and an experience to remember, I thought!

#8 Guest_alexandra_*

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Posted 19 February 2007 - 05:47 PM

Yes, I did, on a previous weekend - and yes, it was a great experience.

Andrew Lincoln was there all day on Saturday, taking in parts 2 and 3 and Richard III - don't know if he also did part 1 on Friday night.

#9 Guest_richard_*

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Posted 19 February 2007 - 06:47 PM

angry.gif
QUOTE(alexandra @ Feb 19 2007, 05:47 PM) View Post
Yes, I did, on a previous weekend - and yes, it was a great experience.

Andrew Lincoln was there all day on Saturday, taking in parts 2 and 3 and Richard III - don't know if he also did part 1 on Friday night.



#10 Guest_richard_*

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Posted 19 February 2007 - 06:51 PM

angry.gif   The Richard III was one of the three great turkeys of the (very mixed) RSC Complete Plays Season, the other two being Romeo and Juliet and Julius Caesar (ghastly all three of them).  As soon as the Richard III started on 'Now is the winter of our discontent' one knew he hadn't got what it takes.  The whole thing was modish and superficial, playing to the gallery, self-congratulatory and so very pleased with itself.  It was complete garbage. The only ones with any idea of how to speak the verse, apart from the always excellent Richard Cordery as Buckingham, were the child actors.  But one doesn't go to Richard III for the Princes in the Tower.




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