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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: November ::
Re: Seduction of Lady Anne
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.1132.  Tuesday, 11 November 1997.

[1]     From:   Peter T. Hadorn <
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        Date:   Monday, 10 Nov 1997 10:31:40 -0600
        Subj:   RE: SHK 8.1130  Seduction of Lady Anne

[2]     From:   Cindy Carter <
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        Date:   Monday, 10 Nov 1997 15:22:07 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.1130  Seduction of Lady Anne

[3]     From:   Matthew Gretzinger <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 11 Nov 1997 11:11:48 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.1130  Seduction of Lady Anne


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter T. Hadorn <
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Date:           Monday, 10 Nov 1997 10:31:40 -0600
Subject: 8.1130  Seduction of Lady Anne
Comment:        RE: SHK 8.1130  Seduction of Lady Anne

I can only imagine the sort of responses your note will get, but I was
impressed with the way the new *R3* with Ian McKellen handled it.  The
film depicted Anne as being weak-willed, in one scene actually shooting
up.  I found this solution to the "seduction scene" convincing.  Anne
was played by Kristin Scott Thomas of *English Patient* fame.

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Cindy Carter <
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Date:           Monday, 10 Nov 1997 15:22:07 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 8.1130  Seduction of Lady Anne
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.1130  Seduction of Lady Anne

"I recently attended a performance of RICHARD III, and it struck me that
I've seen this play quite a number of times, and Lady Anne has always
been played by actresses who were attractive.  Has anyone ever seen this
role played by an actress who was plain, or even homely?  It might make
her seduction by Richard more believably - and even more cruel."

The problem, of course, is to find an actress who is willing to play a
homely Anne.

I think it would also strongly change the entire scene - there are
actually moments, in the text at least, where Richard's wooing of Anne
actually seems believable - he seems, at least for the moment, to
genuinely want her, and properly played, can win the audience's
sympathies as well as hers.  Richard's crowing in his speech to the
audience at the end of the scene then comes as a shock, as we all
remember the evil and calculating side of his nature.  Ian McKellan's
portrayal of this scene in the recent film is an excellent example of
this approach.

If Anne were in fact plain, then Richard's extravagant compliments can
only be a cloying attempt to deceive her.  Much of the tension generated
by the scene would disappear, and the audience could only hate Richard
for it, rather than feel sympathy for him.  The speech at the end only
confirms this opinion, it does not add anything to it, and in fact
becomes unnecessary.

Regards,
Cindy Carter

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[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Matthew Gretzinger <
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Date:           Tuesday, 11 Nov 1997 11:11:48 -0500
Subject: 8.1130  Seduction of Lady Anne
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.1130  Seduction of Lady Anne

"Has anyone ever seen this role played by an actress who was plain, or
even homely?  It might make her seduction by Richard more believable -
and even more cruel."

It's possible that this was the strategy of Zoe Wanamaker's casting as
Anne in the BBC _Richard III_ w/Ron Cook, though Richard there was no
Ralph Fiennes, himself.

Richard certainly seems to be playing to her vanity.

Just out of curiosity, has anyone ever seen this scene work?
 

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