Author Topic: Richard II  (Read 4067 times)

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Online Iain Fisher

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Richard II
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2008, 01:31:17 PM »
An interesting review of Berkoff's direction of Richard II performed at Ludlow Castle

From The Times, 30 June 2005, Sam Marlowe

"...with Steven Berkoff at the helm, [the play] is performed in the director, actor and playwright’s trademark expressionistic style... but this Richard II also lacks the raw, rollercoaster energy of its director’s best work.

Berkoff resets the play in Victorian England, and turns its investigation of the issue of the divine right of kings into a much blunter attack on the ruling classes in general.

...The interpretation recalls Berkoff’s plays Decadence and West; but in the context of Shakespeare’s text it feels reductive. While at times the physicalisation is effective, as when courtiers play an invisible game of billiards using their canes as cues, the movement is not as expressive, as sharply choreographed or as disciplined as it needs to be. Occasionally it looks plain silly: Julia Tarnoky as Richard’s Queen expresses grief by undulating her arms in front of her face.

...Millson gives the rebellious Henry an authoritative presence that he maintains even when cantering about the stage on an imaginary horse; while Walker manages, as Richard sees his crown slipping from his grasp, to show us a foolish, thoroughly dislikable monarch whose mask is sliding off his face to reveal an ordinary, frightened man.

Their performances make you wish that Berkoff had done more throughout the production to underpin his heightened theatricality with a sense of emotional urgency."