I was originally resistant to seeing Ian McKellan's Richard III because I
thought there was little point to protraying the politicians of 1485 in the
clothing of 1935.
I wish to recant.
The world of THIS Richard III is not specifically modern, nor
1930-s-ish.The airplanes are 1930's. The tanks range from 1945 to 1985. The
location of the scene where Clarence's death is announced appears to be
Romanov Russian. The sets are modern but surreal and therefore suggest that
the action takes place out of time.
Which is a brilliant solution to a growing problem. While Richard III has
been the most frequently performed of plays, its star has waned because the
public understanding of the Wars of the Roses has declined.There are simply
too many people you've never heard of for the action to have the punch it
Unless you set it outside of time, making it surreal and therefore general.
Which Sir Ian did.
As I said. I recant.
I would deeply appreciate your thoughts.
LIFE, n. A spiritual pickle preserving the body from decay.
Bierce, Ambrose; THE DEVIL'S DICTIONARY (1911)
Peter S. Latham
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