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And is it thus?

Well, and the news is very good indeed. I mean my personal news, of course, not any news of national or political import. My news is that I have been cast as the Duke of Buckingham in that punk Richard III I’ve been hocking about, and that means that for the next few months this Tohu Bohu will (if all goes well and the creek don’t rise) feature reports from rehearsals and the whole process of putting on a show. And none of the political commentary that I used to do so much of.

Which is just as well, really, because, honestly: a spending freeze? What the fuck? I mean, what the fucking fuck sense does that make? I don’t think I could write a blog note that said anything more coherent than that, and knowing that, I wouldn’t write anything at all, and then, you know, not so much blog any more.

So here we are on this Tohu Bohu, having become a books-and-theater-and-sometimes-music blog, more than a political rhetoric blog. Except, of course, that R3 is political rhetoric, and more than that, it’s political rhetoric about political rhetoric. And so much more. I really love this play.

For those of y’all who don’t know the play at all, or who are vaguely familiar but (very reasonably) can’t tell your Buckinghams from your Ratcliffes without a scorecard), Buckingham is a very good part indeed. The show is Richard’s, of course, and far more of a star piece than many of Shakespeare’s plays. But then I assumed I wouldn’t get that part—you don’t choose that play and go into auditions without having a pretty damned good idea who your Richard is, and it wasn’t me. Because, you know, they didn’t know me. Still, there are a bunch of very good parts in support of Richard: Clarence, who has one magnificent scene and then has the rest of the night off; Hastings, who is loyal and true and utterly, utterly hosed; Richmond, who is young and hopeful; Edward, who is old and dying and then has the rest of the night off; and even Catesby and Ratcliffe and Tyrell.

But Buckingham is Richard’s main partner in crime, and the betrayal of Buckingham immediately following the coronation is a major turning point in the play, as well as being a great scene with several famous lines (Richard’s, of course, not mine). It was Ralph Richardson in the Laurence Olivier; it was Jim Broadbent in the Ian McKellen. And it’s me in this one in April. During the audition, I wrote the words I want Buckingham in my notes, and I got him.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,
-Vardibidian.

Comments

Hey, congrats! Tell us when the show will be on, and no promises, but maybe we'll come check it out.


That's awesome! I'd like to know when, too, because I've never seen any of your shows yet and might come!


I almost certainly won't come, although I would if, you know. Proximity, and all. But I'm immensely jealous. I've been teaching As You Like It this year, and I've been itching to speak the speech trippingly. Still, it's almost as good to teach.

Almost.

peace
Matt

PS I saw Ian McKellen's modern Richard at the Kennedy Center in DC. It must have been '92, since that's what the Internet tells me. Damn, yo. McKellen's a beast.


Buckingham! Awesome! Congratulations! That's a REALLY fine part. I wish I could see you do it!

If I may request matters dramatic to be blogged about, I'd love to know how the script gets cut. R3 is an excellent play, but its ritual laments get a bit long-winded and benefit from a trim.


Sorry, should have said: Show dates are March 26, 27, April 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 16, 17, 18, 23, 24. Although I think there's an error there; I doubt we're really doing an Easter Sunday matinee... I'll send an email with details for those who might make it to Greater Hartford.

And, yes, I would love to answer requests about the show. I've seen a preliminary cut, which looks pretty standard Cibberish (Margaret is gone, truncated ghost scene) with some other sub-plot cuts (the King's mistress is gone) and, I think, the whole theme of prophecies and dreams fulfilled being slashed to very little. My death speech is much shorter, I know that. But I should get a full script next week, and will (I hope) be writing about the excised stuff shortly thereafter.

Thanks,
-V.


Thanks for the report!

About the general scheme of the cuts, I will only say that I would not do it that way at all, if I were called upon to cut the play significantly. But then, I wouldn't use a punk setting for it, either, so maybe these cuts will fit that choice better than I can envision. Certainly without Margaret and with less ghost, the play is a lot more nihilistic . . .


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