10 August 2014

Richard III|リチャード三世

Writer: William Shakespeare
Stars: Martin Freeman, Forbes Masson, Lauren O'Neil, Jo Stone-Fewings, Simon Coombs
Director: Jamie Lloyd

I went to see the theatre play "Richard III" starring Martin Freeman (John Watson from Sherlock) about a week ago. Because I'd only seen him playing a good Englishman,  when I heard about this play, I thought he was miscast (sorry!). But when I watched the American TV drama "Fargo" in which he played an ordinary man who actually was quite nasty in a very convincing way, so I thought I should see his Richard III and bought a ticket.

About a week before the show, I received an email from the theatre saying
"Patrons seated in rows A, B, C and D of the auditorium seating and row AA of the stage seating please be prepared for the strong possibility of being splashed with stage blood and dress accordingly."
My expectation got higher.

I made a big mistake that even though I didn't know about the play with its complicated characters and relationships very well, I just read a simple synopsis before I went to the theatre. It was difficult for me to understand the lines spoken in Shakespeare's English and couldn't really get the relationship between so many characters and Richard. In the end, I was like
"Well, anyway, everybody is in the way of Richard's ambition..."

Still I enjoyed the show (I really did!). To achieve his desire to be a king, Richard gets rid of competitors one by one. Yes, so many characters are killed in varieties of ways. He always sends his men to kill his victims or traps them himself. But he killed one character himself and that was scary. He chased the victim all over the small stage and got her. Under his heavy breath, he attacked her again and again and again. And his villainous face! It was as if we were witnessing the real murder.

The play was set in the end of the 70's and the set reminded me of the office in "Tinker Tailor Solder Spy" (in fact they took inspiration from the book according to the program). And I guess the direction in which the story proceeds rather quickly reflects their intention in that they want to "engage with as many young people and new theatregoers as possible" (from the program). It felt a bit light to me despite the fact that so many people got murdered on the stage, but it was a fantastic introduction of Richard III for the beginners like myself.

I've heard that Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock Holmes from Sherlock) is also going to play Richard III for a TV drama. I'd love to watch it to see the differences. Maybe I should read the play first!

By the way, I think there aren't any other actors who clears his throat as effectively as Martin Freeman.




それでも、 十分楽しめました!(いや、ホントに)

今回の舞台は70年代末の英国に設定されていて、セットは映画『 裏切りのサーカス』に出てくるオフィスを彷彿とさせます(パンフによると実際、参考にしているそう)。



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