Written September 30, 2014
Richard the Second is the tale of a uncaring king who is deposed. It begins with a death and moves onward from there. Though it was nearly 3 1/2 hours, I would gladly sit through it over and over. It has everything- humanistic villains, flawed heroes (sometimes you can't tell one from another), betrayal, and transformation. Yes, this is Shakespeare - but the language is never delivered unnaturally nor are you ever left wondering what is going on. This can be attributed to some truly brilliant acting. David Tennant was magnificent as the king who is forced to reevaluate his significance. Sometimes you just can't look away. The other actors- Oliver Ford Davies and John Pennington especially - are just as amazing. The simplistic yet beautiful backgrounds were beautiful and even awe-inspiring. Seriously, you won't regret a moment of it. I didn't.
Written December 19, 2013
It takes a while to adjust to watching a live production as opposed to a filmed one. One must get used to the static setting ( though beautifully lit) and limited camera angles. Sometimes we are even looking at the back of actor's heads! But the adjustment is fast and well worth it because you then experience the immediacy and intimacy of a live performance. What always thrills me in RSC and National theatre productions is how good the bench is. Of course the leads are good, in this case magnificent, but the lowliest spear carrier is alive and articulate. I was saddened at how few attendees there were the day I saw this, and think the RSC or the theaters involved should do a better job of publicizing it so more people could enjoy this often neglected and most poetic play.
Written December 15, 2013
What an amazing concept. It was a pure joy to experience this outstanding production by the RSC "live" with the best seats in the house. David Tennant made a superb Richard, making this prissy and self centered monarch not only sympathetic, but, in the end, both brave and tragic. I can only say "Thank you" for an experience I will never forget.
Written December 19, 2013
Exceptional Royal Shakespeare Company production! The first of their cinema transmissions, with hopefully many more ahead. This was a stunning production, beautifully set up for video, too. The acting and direction were peerless. The presentation of these great performances to cinema audiences worldwide is such a gift. Congratulations to RSC, and also to the local theatres in the US (I watched in lower Manhattan at the Cinema East) who cooperate to make such fare available.
Written December 22, 2013
I was planning on coming to the film and leaving happy, but nothing prepared me for the level in which my mind was blown. It never felt like a play, although you could always clearly see the set, each character was real and knew exactly what they were doing. And Richard (played by David Tennant) shows a series of skills unknown to Tannant fans. His very pours oz with the character.. In the height of the kings reign, Tennant's nose stands proudly above all, and during his fall, he can literally be seen crawling around on the floor. Though Richard is heard saying "Now mark me how I will undo myself." this is clearly anything but the undoing of an actor undoubtedly in his prime.