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arbieroo

Arbie's Unoriginally Titled Book Blog

It's a blog! Mainly of book reviews.

Currently reading

Shadows and Light
David McLaughlin, Michael Gray
The Traders' War: A Merchant Princes Omnibus
Charles Stross
Progress: 230/624 pages
The Penguin Classics Book
Various Authors, Henry Eliot
Progress: 342/460 pages
Summer Morning, Summer Night
Ray Bradbury
Progress: 84/176 pages
Introduction to Topology
Bert Mendelson
Progress: 10/224 pages
Basics of Plasma Astrophysics
Claudio Chiuderi, Marco Velli
Progress: 58/250 pages
A Student's Guide to Lagrangians and Hamiltonians
Patrick Hamill
Progress: 7/180 pages
Complete Poems, 1904-1962
E.E. Cummings
Progress: 746/1102 pages
The Complete Plays and Poems
E.D. Pendry, J.C. Maxwell, Christopher Marlowe
Gravitation (Physics Series)
Kip Thorne;Kip S. Thorne;Charles W. Misner;John Archibald Wheeler;John Wheeler
Progress: 48/1215 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...