Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Friday, 22 July 2016

Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer by this sun of York ...

To the Almeida Theatre in London for their current production, The Bard's RICHARD III in a highly praised production by director Rupert Goold, with Ralph Fiennes and Vanessa Redgrave.
Well, no, not to the theatre itself, but to my local multiplex where the live performance was being screened, as it was in cinemas around the world. This was actually the first of these popular live theatre screenings I had been to - and it was like having a seat in the stalls, well apart from the girl next to me with a tub of popcorn and bottle of cola - I hate the stench of popcorn! - and then two old dears arrived late after 15 minutes in, and yes, they had to sit next to me too, disturbing all of us as they got to their seat and settled themselves. But apart from that .... Lets see what the Almeida says:
The Almeida will broadcast Artistic Director Rupert Goold's production of RICHARD III, with Ralph Fiennes as Shakespeare's most notorious villain and Vanessa Redgrave as Queen Margaret, live to cinemas in the UK and around the world today 21 July.
Almeida Theatre Live will give worldwide audiences the opportunity to see plays from the stage at the Almeida's London home for the first time. The Almeida Theatre and distributor Picturehouse Entertainment are partnering to broadcast RICHARD III, produced by Illuminations.
The production will be filmed using multiple cameras around the stage and auditorium, with John Wyver as producer. 
Rupert Goold said: "The chance to take the work of the Almeida to international audiences via live cinema screening is a new and timely venture for us that I'm extremely excited about. Working with Picturehouse Entertainment and Illuminations on this broadcast I'm really looking forward to seeing how audiences around the world react to our Richard III on the big screen."

Vanessa had previously worked with Fiennes on CORIOLANUS and THE WHITE COUNTESS film with daughter Natasha and sister Lynn. Great to see her back on stage and in fine form at 79, after that heart attack last year - as per this illuminating interview with her from The Guardian newspaper:

Fiennes of course is on a roll at the moment, he was also recently in THE MASTER BUILDER this year, and stunning in A BIGGER SPLASH, did a neat cameo in HAIL, CAESAR and of course we loved THE GREAT BUDAPEST HOTEL.
He is of course electrifying as Richard and makes the lines sing, as does Vanessa as Queen Elizabeth, its a sort of modern dress production, complete with cell phones, but why is she dressed in a boiler suit and carrying a plastic doll? 
Anthony Sher was also a terrific Richard, almost playing him like a giant spider, and we love the Olivier 1955 version - see review, Olivier label. The one recent Richard we had not seen was the 1995 Ian McKellen one, unavailable for a long time - we finally got a German dvd recently, but I found it practically unbearable with that 1930s Fascist background and far too tricky and full of special effects, with tanks, and Battersea Power Station as the Tower of London just did not work for me at all - great supporting cast though, including Maggie Smith as Queen Elizabeth. 


  1. Hardly a reveiw dahling; I mean you spent more time telling us what the Almedia said and about the old ladies etc than the show itself. So should I spend my £11 on a ticket or not? And wasn't your bum sore after 3+ hours? Of course, I know I should see it and I hope our local playhouse has got the date right, (it's scheduled for next month). I love these broadcast shows from theatres; THE DEEP BLUE SEA and Branagh's THE ENTERTAINER are also coming up.

  2. You hardly need to be told the plot of Richard III, and the reviews are out there -oh, I forgot, you don't do newspapers. I was describing the experience of seeing it at the local multiplex, popcorn and all. There were 25 of us in the big auditorium, I was suprised to see this girl entering with a huge tub of popcorn, plus coke, and thought its not a popcorn movie - then she sits down next to me! and then being disturbed by two old dears arriving late and distrating us all as they too sat next to me on the other side!