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#RSCRichardII( English) Rating: * * * Splendidly lit but spartanly rendered. Marks the start of #GregoryDoran's six-year plan to present the entire Shakespeare canon.Beautifully crafted, richly detailed, definitively reverent to the bard’s verse, this production is strikingly emphatic and aims for a high standard. #PVRLive #PVRFilms #ShiladityaBora #DavidTennant #NigelLindsya #MichaelPennington #JaneLapotaire #AvianMedia PVR LIVE Event Cinema / Shows on November 23 & 29 only
English Film review
Film: Richard II
Cast: David Tenant, Oliver Ford Davies, Michael Pennington, Jane Lapotaire
Director: Gregory Doran
Rating: * * *
Gregory Doran has already stated his six-year plan to present the entire Shakespeare canon and this one, Richard II is the first of many to come to the RSC. It's undoubtedly, finely crafted, rich-on-details production that sets a pretty high standard. The filmed theatrics gets it’s strength from superb lead performances that gather steam as the prosaic drama sets into motion complex rhythms that define human culpability.
Richard's original sin lay in sanctioning the murder of his uncle, the Duke of Gloucester and Doran means for us to understand that before letting loose on Richard’s decline. The opening sequence displays a court seeped in mourning - Elaborate funeral rites with three sopranos singing religious anthems in the upper galleries and the Duchess of Gloucester bent in grief over her husband's tomb.
David Tennant’s Richard, with his brocade gown and hippy length hair, enters the scene in listless abandon while his barons hurl accusations of treason at each other. It leads to mownray’s banishment but the peace does not last long. As Richard seizes the land and goods of John of Gaunt , after ordering his death, he finds himself alienated from the forces that brought him his Kingdom. Bolingbroke starts making inroads for his seizing of the crown but Richard, on realizing his days are numbered, challenges Bolingbroke to "seize the crown" and, just when his rival takes the cue, immediately inverts it. It’s to Tenant’s credit that he manages to evoke sympathy during Richard’s downfall thus suggesting as Shakespeare intended, the dramatic heft of human contrariness- that of a wasteful King who abused power when he was on the throne while on the other hand manages to achieve a certain tragic dignity while on his spiral downwards.
Tennant’s performance is majestic but his ability to convey the lyricism of the Shakespearean lingo does appear suspect. Nigel Lindsay makes for a fine Bolingbroke, Oliver Ford Davies –a convincing Duke of York, Michael pennington brilliant as john of Gaunt and Jane Lapotaire – strong on pathos as Duchess of Gloucester. The costumes are quite well attuned to the period while the back light projections designed by Stephen Brimson Lewis is just perfect. All the many varied aspects of this production convey a rich complexity that is evocative of the ironic tragedy of a King gone to seed!