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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: November ::
Re: Richard II
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.2628  Tuesday, 20 November 2001

[1]     From:   R. A. Cantrell <
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        Date:   Monday, 19 Nov 2001 10:18:25 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.2624 Re: Richard II

[2]     From:   Karen Peterson <
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        Date:   Monday, 19 Nov 2001 09:16:38 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.2624 Re: Richard II

[3]     From:   Martin Steward <
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        Date:   Monday, 19 Nov 2001 17:38:21 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.2624 Re: Richard II

[4]     From:   Stephen Dobbin <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 20 Nov 2001 09:18:13 +0000 (GMT)
        Subj:   Richard II


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           R. A. Cantrell <
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Date:           Monday, 19 Nov 2001 10:18:25 -0600
Subject: 12.2624 Re: Richard II
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.2624 Re: Richard II

> I agree, RII just doesn't seem to get the respect it deserves.  Even
> during Stratford's "This England, the Histories" last year RII was
> delegated to the smallest theater.

Ralph Feines R II at the BAM a few years back was pretty good

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Karen Peterson <
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Date:           Monday, 19 Nov 2001 09:16:38 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 12.2624 Re: Richard II
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.2624 Re: Richard II

> ...RII just doesn't seem to get the respect it
> deserves.  Even
> during Stratford's "This England, the Histories"
> last year RII was
> delegated to the smallest theater.

I guess I'm responding here in defense of The Other Place, the future of
which seems a bit unclear at the moment.

To my sorrow, I was unable to get tickets to see RII there in 1999.
Everyone I spoke to who did see that production reported that it was
wondrous.  I don't know what factors the RSC considered in deciding to
do RII at The Other Place, but audience members reported that the small
theatre was ideal for the "cerebral" nature of the play on which Jim
comments later in his post.  Perhaps it was, in fact, an indication of
*respect* for the play that it was assigned a venue in which its
subtleties could be best appreciated.

Cheers,
Karen Peterson

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Martin Steward <
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Date:           Monday, 19 Nov 2001 17:38:21 -0000
Subject: 12.2624 Re: Richard II
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.2624 Re: Richard II

Ralph Feines was good in a generally well-handled performance of RII in
a disused film studio for the Almeida Theatre Company in London last
year. Not so hot as Coriolanus, unfortunately. Great venue, though,
regardless...

martin

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stephen Dobbin <
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Date:           Tuesday, 20 Nov 2001 09:18:13 +0000 (GMT)
Subject:        Richard II

Jim Slager may not be correct in interpreting  the fact that 'Richard II
was delegated (relegated?) to Stratford's smallest theatre'  as a sign
of the play not getting the respect it deserves.

When I was stage managing at Stratford in the eighties, directors fought
tooth and nail for the chance of staging Shakespeare in the Other Place
and actors fought very hard to be in those productions.

The chance of performing verse on an intimate rather than a heroic
scale; the opportunity to perform Shakespeare in a space where all your
energy and concentration could go into words rather than into the
technique of projecting into a huge auditorium; the immediacy of
audience feedback (and adjusting your performance to that feedback) when
the audience are sitting two feet away from where you are working; all
these were irresistible to actors and directors. (Only the designers
complained: I seem to remember that the 1980 MoV with Patrick Stewart as
Shylock and the McKellan/Dench Macbeth were each done on a total design,
costume and prop budget of 

 

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