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OI! Dickie!

Your Humble Blogger will be auditioning in a week or so (if nothing prevents it) for a production of Richard III set “Set in late 1970’s London … amid the punk culture of the time.”

Now, Richard III is one of my favorites. I was lucky enough to see Sir Ian McKellen play it in 1992 or 1993 or so, his famous production having toured for about a million years at that point, and it was heartstoppingly wonderful. Magnificent. I mean, you have no idea. Well, except my Best Reader, who was there, and who in fact bought me the tickets as a gift. Did I say thank you? Thank you, Best Reader. Anyway.

My immediate reaction was that it made no sense at all to set R3 in punk London. I mean, it made no sense to me to have the main characters, who are all in the elite, royals and mandarins and whatnots, be punks. You could have the murderers mohawked and strung out, but big deal—if you are going to set the thing in the punk culture, you have to have Richard and his brothers be punks, instead of being duke’s sons, military officers and magistrates.

Having said that it makes no sense to me from a narrative standpoint, I do have to say that over the last few weeks the idea has been growing on me from an emotional standpoint. I think this is because I have been following Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll, the Ian Dury biopic (starring Andy Serkis), and I’ve been thinking about that kind of twisted gleeful rage fitting young Gloucester pretty well. And, of course, I suppose one could imagine the plot being driving by Richard’s drug-fueled descent into paranoia, while simultaneously coming tantalizingly close to achieving the mainstream success and respectability that he rejected because it was out of reach. Ian Dury as Richard III.

Mind you, I still don’t think it makes any sense. And I don’t think that is exactly what they have in mind. But the idea has been rattling around in my brain for long enough, now, that I’ve decided present it to y’all for kicks and proverbials.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,



Seems like it would take away so much of the audience's shock at the characters' bad behavior to have them be punks. If we're capable of being shocked, it's probably not by the notion of punks behaving badly.

Yes, although I expect most audiences expect Richard to kill everybody in sight, so the shock value is already down one. Still, it makes it more difficult to care, particularly as, after all, so what if Richard or Richmond becomes King Punk?

Also hard to imagine what you do with Richard standing with the prayerbook with the two priests.


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