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Enter Buckingham

Last night we blocked IV,ii, which is probably known as the ‘giving vein’ scene. Immediately after the coronation, Richard suggests to Buckingham that he take care of murdering the Princes in the Tower, and Buckingham equivocates, and then asks for the Earldom he was promised. Richard dicks with him and then tells him “I am not in the giving vein today”. Buckingham sees the writing on the wall and flees the court to raise an army.

So. I found it particularly difficult to learn the lines in this scene. Not just straining to get the exact words right, as I have been having problems with in all my lines, but missing whole lines or getting them in the wrong order. That’s because through a page or two I am trying to get Richard to respond to me and he is conspicuously not responding to me but talking about something else. Our lines don’t match, deliberately. I ask about Hereford and he answers with Richmond; he asks about time and I answer about promises. We’re not listening to each other. It’s harder to find hooks to attach the lines to each other.

Mind you, it’s a terrific scene. Lots of conflict. Just hard to memorize.

Well, and last night we blocked it. I had been imagining possible blocking problems as I was preparing it, imagining possible solutions, ways to make the scene work in different ways. And I had kinda figured on one particular way as working well with what we’ve done so far, meshing with some of the earlier stage scenes and themes and working with the scene itself. And what our director did is just about the opposite of what I had been thinking. I don’t think I want to be any more specific—I am hoping that a few Gentle Readers will make their way to see the thing, and there should be some surprises for you—but I will say that never in a million million years would I have thought of blocking IV,ii like that. And it’s brilliant.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,