The Scottish lord Macbeth, chooses evil as the way to fulfill his ambition for power. He commits regicide to become king and then furthers his moral descent with a reign of murderous terror... See full summary »
Henry Bolingbroke has now been crowned King of England, but faces a rebellion headed by the embittered Earl of Northumberland and his son (nicknamed 'Hotspur'). Henry's son Hal, the Prince ... See full summary »
I have loved Shakespeare since reading Twelfth Night in my sixth year at primary school. And I admire most of the actors here, most notably Derek Jacobi and John Gielgud. This performance of Richard II is just wonderful. The production values are very good if not as good as the dialogue and performances. The sets do convince you of the time and place at least, and the costumes do have a sense of regality to them. Shakespeare's dialogue is brilliant, both poetic and forceful.
And the story of loyalty and betrayal as well as rebellion and politics is always compelling and delivered and staged with utter conviction. All the performances are superb, delivering their lines gracefully and intelligently with a good deal of intensity when needed. In particular Derek Jacobi, his performance is a masterclass in abject humiliation that later replaces Richard's kingly pride complete with a regal demeanour and a sense of human thought. Jon Finch is a handsome yet appropriately dark and brooding Bolingbroke and Charles Gray and Wendy Hiller give equally adept performances, but it was John Gielgud that gave the best supporting performance, his This is England...speech is chillingly moving in how elegiac the dialogue and delivery was.
Overall, the brilliant performances especially were what made this Richard II so great. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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