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Home :: Archive :: 2013 :: February ::
Richard III’s Remains Positively Identified

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0056  Monday, 11 February 2013

 

[1] From:        Hardy M. Cook < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:         Monday, February 11, 2013

     Subject:     Richard III in the News 

 

[2] From:        Ellen Moody < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:         February 7, 2013 10:18:47 PM EST

     Subject:     Austen & 18th-century View of Richard III; Jennifer Wallace’s Digging the Dirt 

 

[3] From:        David Basch < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:         February 8, 2013 1:06:22 PM EST

     Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: Richard III’s Remains Positively Identified

 

 

[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Hardy M. Cook < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         Monday, February 11, 2013

Subject:     Richard III in the News

 

There was some interesting reading in news outlets lately regarding Richard III.

 

*****

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/07/opinion/collins-my-kingdom-for-a-corpse.html

 

February 6, 2013

 

My Kingdom for a Corpse

By Gail Collins

 

Richard III is staging a comeback.

 

A skeleton identified as the last Plantagenet king of England was recently discovered underneath a city parking lot in Leicester. Richard III fans feel as though this is the start of a totally new career chapter.

 

“Now we can rebury him with honor,” said Philippa Langley, a leading figure in the Richard III Society, which is dedicated to the rehabilitation of the 15th-century monarch, who’s lived on in history as the villain in a Shakespeare play. Doing a round of TV interviews, Langley told CNN that the Richard she knows is “a guy who’s loyal, brave, pious and just.”

 

There’s always time to turn your life around! Even when you’re dead! People, what could be more American? Except for the part about how it’s all happening in Britain.

 

Getting Richard out from under the parking lot was just the beginning. The society’s Web site is chock-full of information about his efforts “to provide justice for all, including the poor and the vulnerable,” as well as his work as a “talented administrator” and patron of the printing industry. This guy would make an excellent ruler today, or at the very least a credible governor of Wisconsin.

 

Langley has also written a screenplay about Richard and his achievements — all of which, by the way, had to be accomplished during a two-year reign. The movie doesn’t appear to have its financing yet, but a newspaper in Scotland, where the writer lives, reported that the lead role has been offered to the actor who played dwarf leader Thorin Oakenshield in the Hobbit movies, and “has also starred in a number of television series including ‘Spooks,’ ‘Robin Hood’ and the ‘Vicar of Dibley.’ ”

 

I am telling you that last part just because I enjoy writing the “Vicar of Dibley.”

 

Anyhow, what’s left of Richard has been lying in solemn dignity on a black velvet cushion in the library of the University of Leicester, preparing for the next phase. His stock appears to be soaring. The cities of Leicester and York are already flinging petitions at one another, battling for the honor of hosting the next burial.

 

This is an excellent lesson in the importance of keeping your metaphorical chin up. Sure, you can lose your kingdom in the Battle of Bosworth Field, get smashed on the head with a halberd, stabbed all over the place by grudge-bearing soldiers, dumped in a hole in the ground and then ultimately become the subject of an exceedingly unflattering play.

 

But there’s still the chance of a turnaround. And, really, it could happen to anyone:

 

LOS ANGELES, 2613 — Experts have confirmed that skeletal remains dug up beneath a transporter lubrication pit are indeed those of Mitt Romney, the 21st-century presidential candidate who is best known as the title character in the classic tragedy “Mitt I.”

 

Supporters hope that the discovery will lead to a reconsideration of Romney’s entire life and an emphasis on achievements, such as helping to found a chain of office-supply stores and winning one presidential debate. They plan to open a theme park that will focus on the positive side of the man known to history only as a politician who once attempted to drive to Canada with his dog strapped to the roof of his car.

 

“This gives us a chance to restart the conversation about one of our most unfairly vilified political figures,” said Finbar Romney, a descendant who is also known by his pen name of Figg. He revealed that he has just finished plans for a new Broadway musical about his ancestor, which would explore Mitt Romney’s little-known early life as a tap dancer who moonlighted as a superhero.

 

See? There’s nothing you can’t get over if you hang in there long enough. Until now, Richard has been best known for grabbing the crown away from his young nephew and then sticking the boy and his brother in the Tower of London. It was a bad move, image-wise. But, politically speaking, it was a sin of process, like the way Lyndon Johnson stole his second Senate race, if only Johnson’s opponent had wound up locked inside a state prison, never to be heard from again.

 

The Richard III Society hopes to get past all that, as well as rumors about the king’s monsterlike appearance. (One Tudor-era writer claimed he was born with teeth and shoulder-length hair, due to a two-year refusal to emerge from the womb.) A just-completed reconstruction of the long-gone monarch’s head makes him look more like an undernourished Latin teacher. “I wasn’t alone in finding this an approachable, kindly face, almost inviting conversation,” said Langley.

 

In 2313, maybe the Donald Trump Society will dig up the real estate developer and discover that he had a really terrific head of hair. There’s hope for us all. We may be wrinkling now, but we’ll look great in a few more millennia.

 

*****

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/07/richard-iii-parking-lot-staging-new-york_n_2637537.html?utm_hp_ref=arts

 

‘Richard III’ Parking Lot Staging: Drilling Company Chooses New York Space

Mark Kennedy

 

NEW YORK — It seems only fitting: With the bones of King Richard III found under a parking lot in Britain, a theater company that performs free Shakespeare plays every summer in a New York parking lot has decided what to stage this year – “Richard III.”

 

The Drilling Company said Wednesday its Shakespeare in the Parking Lot program will feature the tyrant from Aug. 1 to Aug. 17 in the parking lot at Ludlow and Broome streets on Manhattan’s Lower East Side

 

Says director Hamilton Clancy: “We have known for a long time that parking lots and Shakespeare were connected. Our intention is to bring Richard III back to life in a parking lot.”

 

*****

http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/08/shakespeares-globe-to-stage-henry-vi-at-historic-battle-sites/

 

FEBRUARY 8, 2013

 

Shakespeare’s Globe to Stage ‘Henry VI’ at Historic Battle Sites

By Jennifer Schuessler

 

Hot on the heels of the news that a New York theater company will be staging “Richard III” in a suddenly historically correct parking lot, Shakespeare’s Globe has announced that it will take a touring production of the Henry VI trilogy to four English battle sites that figure in the plays.

 

After the premiere at the York Theater Royal in June the plays, directed by Nick Bagnall, will move to the battlefields at Tewkesbury, St Albans, Barnet and finally Towton, where the houses of York and Lancaster clashed in what is often said to be the bloodiest battle ever on English soil.

 

Dominic Dromgoole, the Globe's artistic director, told The Guardian that he wanted to increase the box office appeal of the trilogy, which has long generated debates over how much of it was actually written by Shakespeare.

 

“When you think of battlefields, you think of re-enactment and that’s usually deemed slightly circumspect, but the British are obsessed with our own history and that’s a really interesting way that we engage with it,” Mr. Dromgoole said.

 

The Shakespeare’s Globe season will also feature several productions at its open-air theater on the south bank of the Thames in London, including “The Tempest,” with the Olivier award winner Roger Allam as Prospero; “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” starring another Olivier winner, Michelle Terry, as Titania; and “Gabriel,” a new play by Sam Adamson about 17th-century musicians and their patrons, starring the trumpeter Alison Balsom.

 

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Ellen Moody < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         February 7, 2013 10:18:47 PM EST

Subject:     Austen & 18th-century View of Richard III; Jennifer Wallace’s Digging the Dirt

 

Thinking more about the early attempt to “rehabilitate” Richard III in the 18th century and today’s Richard III Society, I wrote a blog which could be of interest: following Wallace, it’s also about the historical and archaeological imagination:

 

http://reveriesunderthesignofausten.wordpress.com/2013/02/07/austen18thconrichardiiidiggingthedirtthearcheaologicalimagination/

 

Ellen Moody

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------

From:        David Basch < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         February 8, 2013 1:06:22 PM EST

Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: Richard III’s Remains Positively Identified

 

I agree with Al Magary as to how incidental is the real Richard III.

 

While the history is important for the record, it was obviously less important for Shakespeare.

 

His play is more valuable for what it tells about Shakespeare than about history. History for him seems only a point of departure, mainly a vehicle for his views and his dramatic poetry.

 

The dramatic poetry speaks for itself as well as do the views that the play underwrites. A poet like Shakespeare looks for opportunities to express his irrepressible views and the joys of unfolding his literary capabilities. The actual history is obviously secondary and the poet is observed to order events for dramatic impact. It took Henry V ten and more years to subdue France, not the two years of the play.  The poet contrives fictional characters and incidents that contribute to point and dramatic unfolding. 

 

It would seem that in Richard III the poet sought to dramatize the view of

Psalm 92, which declares:

 

PSA 92:5  O LORD, how great are thy works! and thy thoughts are very deep.

PSA 92:6  A brutish man knoweth not; neither doth a fool understand this.

PSA 92:7 When the wicked spring as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish; it is that they shall be destroyed for ever:

PSA 92:8 But thou, LORD, art most high for evermore.

PSA 92:9 For, lo, thine enemies, O LORD, for, lo, thine enemies shall perish; all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered.

 

It would seem that the events of Richard III are illustrations and confirmations of the psalmist’s view. The play serves as a warning to rampant evil-doers of what awaits them and their supporters. These latter supporters, motivated by short-sighted, selfish ambitions, may not be so evil, but, as the play shows, these “fools of time” in the end are themselves consumed by the lusts of tyrants that know no bounds.

 

It is in such scenarios that we find the real Shakespeare, a man who is

interested in making vivid these “truths.” Getting rich as a successful playwright, which some erroneously allege as his highest motive, was only a byproduct and secondary to the former objective. The fact that this is again and again sensed by his audiences is one of the features of his art that accounts for his timelessness.

 

David Basch

 
 

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