Wednesday, 4 July 2012

The Hollow Crown (Richard II)

As part of the cultural olympiad, The BBC has a whole tranche of Shakespeare related programmes (their 'Shakespeare Unlocked season) as part of which it is showing new productions of 4 of Shakespeare's history plays - Richard II, Henry IV Parts 1 and 2, and Henry V.
photo: BBC
The first, Richard II, was shown on Saturday night, and was breathtaking! Richard was played by Ben Wishaw, as a young, indecisive, mercurial and often petulant king, making the estrangement of so many of his court believable. 
photo: BBC
By contrast, Rory Kinnear's Bolingbroke was a taciturn, pragmatic soldier, who also managed to convey a level of slightly affectionate exasperation at Richard, which reminded me that they were related; there was a trace of 'older sibling' in there..

I am very much looking forward to seeing the other plays in the cycle, and while I do want to Jeremy Irons as Henry IV, I am a little disappointed that Rory Kinnear won't be playing the role (although I suppose he'd be a little young for it) And seeing Henry V will be interested, especially so soon after seeing it on stage - I always enjoy comparing different productions.

If you get the opportunity, do watch.

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