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arbieroo

Arbie's Unoriginally Titled Book Blog

It's a blog! Mainly of book reviews.

Currently reading

Station Zero
Philip Reeve
Progress: 220/282 pages
The Books of Earthsea: The Complete Illustrated Edition
Ursula K. Le Guin, Charles Vess
Progress: 749/997 pages
The Penguin Book of Russian Poetry
Robert Chandler
The Uncertain Land and Other Poems
Patrick O'Brian
Progress: 8/160 pages
The Heptameron (Penguin Classics)
Marguerite de Navarre
Progress: 152/544 pages
The Poems and Plays of John Masefield
John Masefield
Progress: 78/534 pages
Poems Selected
Emily Dickinson, Ted Hughes
Progress: 4/50 pages
Selected Poems
U A Fanthorpe
Progress: 18/160 pages
The Penguin Book of Scottish Verse
Mick Imlah, Robert Crawford
Hainish Novels & Stories, Vol. 2
Ursula K. Le Guin
Progress: 133/789 pages

The Tragedy of Richard III, William Shakespeare

The Tragedy of King Richard III - William Shakespeare

So I watched the BBC's new Richard III starring some guy with the unlikely name of Eggs Benedict Cummerbund (or summat like that). He was good, but really, if you're competent to speak Shakespeare then you can hardly fail when you have lines as fabulous as Richard III has. This version has hacked down not only numerous (perceived and real) enemies of the hunchbacked King but the play itself, reducing one of Shakespeare's longest works to a mere two hours. I used to wonder what's Richard's Tragedy, since he's a self declared villain from the outset? Now I see it as his descent from jolly, capering villainous pretender to paranoid, fearful King, unable to trust anybody. Which brings me to Ben Daniels' subtle portrayal of Buckingham, which outclasses Cumberbatch's work by some distance, convincingly dealing with the challenging problem of initially seeming to support Richard in spite of any outrage before baulking at the murder of the true heirs in the Tower.

 

In truth I much prefered both Ian McKellan's film take on Richard III as fascist dictator and Al Pacino's even more cut down performance in Looking for Richard, but this play is so good you just can't make it bad...