I saw Ian Richardson as Berowne. Think it was my first ever Shakespeare, oddly - surprising it didn't put me off, but I guess that's how good Richardson was - I just remember agility and fun.
Not sure if I ever saw Richardson, I think I did. A famous production of his was where he and Richard Pasco alternated Richard II and Bolingbroke. On paper this has always struck me as a bit of a gimmick but I recently saw a production photo of it which made the point perfectly clear - Richard II and Bolingbroke looked identical - same costume, same make-up, same hair, same everything - mirror images - pretty clever idea, huh ? (off topic but I know you like the play).
Not really. Stepping in as an understudy is one thing - you've seen the performance you're covering and you copy it. Coming in as a replacement is quite another - he presumably never saw Glen in the role and he's got to learn it and rehearse it. Just wait patiently, like me.
Indeed. Which is why it really doesn't matter if an effect has been seen before. I've seen at least 250 Shakespeare performances and have never seen anyone draw a line on the stage so it would certainly have been new to the Hiddleston fangirls.
It doesn't matter, but it is just a little indication that Josie Rourke may be a bit old-fashioned and not at the leading edge of theatrical innovation, which suits her target audience just fine I suppose. Although this was the best production of Coriolanus we have seen for many years I wonder what possessed her to make Aufidius a stereotypical Northerner with an almost comedy accent ?. In the McKellen Coriolanus Greg Hicks played Aufidius as even more austere and unemotional than Coriolanus himself which made the homoerotic undertones somewhat more believable.
I didn't care for the change to Richard's murderer - a bit pointless.
This change was bad because it was almost too appropriate and shocking - big gasp from the audience at the reveal - that moment will stick in everyone's mind yet it is nothing to do with Shakespeare at all.
Uh ? What's that supposed to mean ? I'm not stating an opinion, it's a fact. That's what happened. I've seen this play 8 times and never heard a big laugh at that point. Maybe he does it differently every night, like Christopher Ecclestone in A Dolls House. Actually Parsley was at the same performance so s/he can confirm. Tennant was strangely neutral in the part, didn't convince as a king in the first place so his subsequent fall was less dramatic. Not a patch on Spacey and Slinger, and a bit behind Irons, Jennings and Pennington too. About the same as Redmayne. Better than Fiona Shaw though who was hopeless.
steveatplays, on 21 December 2013 - 08:36 PM, said:
Epicoene, the audience may like Tennant, and express it accordingly, but I doubt they like the character.
The claim was "bravery" from Tennant in playing it that way, but in fact he played it entirely for laughs, pandering to his fans, it was a conscious decision on his part, he is a good enough actor to have killed most of them. The entire audience laughed at his "death of Kings" speech.
Not impressed by this, turning it into a comedy doesn't really work, still quite a skill to get a big laugh on the line "tell sad stories of the death of kings". Hadn't seen Tennant in anything for years, found him lightweight and uncharismatic. Usual bland and worthy Doran production respecting the text but without a single spark of inspiration (except for changing the identity of Richard's murderer, which is an idea but not a good one). RST staging transferred well onto the Barbican stage though.
Its rather rapid fire but I was never bored and hope that Grandage returns with another season hopefully with an emphasis on modern plays.
Not sure where Grandage goes from here. It seems he is focussing on his film next. Somehow I think things have moved on and he is not quite the hot ticket he once was, certainly I felt no need to see any of his current season unlike during his Donmar days, that dismal Danton's Death at NT was a turning point for me. The buzz is now elsewhere, with Flash Harry up at the Almeida for example.
Andromeda Dench, on 16 December 2013 - 01:31 PM, said:
Ouch. Really embarrassing for everyone involved.
At the risk of sounding really stupid, I'll ask anyway - can someone tell me whose interest it was (and why) to give the award to Mirren? Can't say I really get how it all works.
The Standard are in this as a marketing exercise - having a photo of Helen Mirren (by far the most "starry" candidate known to non-theatre folk) all over their and other newspapers arts pages raises their profile. A star of lesser wattage wouldn't have picked up the same level of coverage and hence wouldn't have promoted the Standard "brand" so well.
You need to be very careful what you post here regarding allegations like that. You really think an HR person employed by a national newspaper would fire someone on that basis ? There is a clear legal process for terminating anyone's employment and you can be sure that the newspaper will think they have followed it. Until you have heard both sides it is best not to take sides.
Lack of any sort of modulation and poor casting of roles
When he was at the Donmar I think a very large part of his success was due to brilliant casting - I think of his Wild Duck which was just perfectly cast - given the best cast then a simple production and a simple set in a small space will work brilliantly. However, it seems in the commercial sector his casting decisions have been constrained in various ways and there's not enough in the other areas to compensate. Greg Doran is another director who needs a very strong cast (which at the RSC he has). I will be interested to see what the film he's going to direct next turns out like - I'd say he's far from the type of theatre director who can transfer successfully to film, but we'll see.