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oooooOOOOOoooooh!

Well, and I don’t know if we have at last finished blocking the whole play, but we have finished blocking the bits I am in, so that’s all right. After we did my death scene in V,i, I was released to go home, and I did, and thank goodness for that, because the roads? Not so good.

Anyway, before we did that, we did the ghost scene. Now, I don’t like the ghost scene at all. We’re doing a reasonable job of it, but frankly, I would cut the whole thing. We have already cut two-thirds of it, so it’s just a little bit more.

Now, I could imagine a terrific production of the show that emphasized all the occult and unnatural elements. Ours is not that production, but I imagine it could be terrific. It would begin, I imagine, with Richard spying his shadow on the wall, and then, when he moves to the left, the shadow moves to the right, and then perhaps morphs into a boar—or perhaps just into a bigger, more grotesque version of Richard, more deformed. Maybe… with horns? Or tusks, anyway. Still, that would set up a special-effects laden version, a dark Richard. Margaret, of course, becomes more prominent. Perhaps she is onstage more frequently than is written, observing and casting spells—if you can have her appear and disappear, perhaps overlooking the seduction of Anne, it can prepare us not only for her arrival later, but for the strange behavior of everybody else, who seem not to see her at first, and then inexplicably fail to have her arrested and confined. And then, possibly, when Queen Elizabeth asks her, in Act Four, how to curse her enemies, she could …not sure. Something, though.

And, of course, there are the dreams. Clarence’s dream, Stanley’s dream, and Richard’s dream of the ghosts—if we see the other two performed, brought to vision for the audience, then the ghosts fit in. How to do it? Puppets, I am thinking, behind a scrim. Hard to have it be appropriately spooky, but there are people who do that sort of thing very well. And then, perhaps, begin the ghost scene with puppets and have them appear to climb down and become life-sized people? Just a thought.

And in a play like that, there is the possibility of having ghosts appear throughout. Bloated and disfigured Clarence watches his nephews being sent to the Tower. Wasted and debilitated Anne watches Richard attempt to negotiate a second marriage. Rivers, Grey and Vaughn take up the empty seats at the council table to watch Hastings’ destruction. Henry VI could show up. Dead Rutland could play jacks with Dead Edward while the bodies pile up around them on Bosworth Field. The dead could outnumber the living.

But if that’s not what you are doing with the play, which we’re not, and thank goodness for that, and if furthermore you are not doing the whole text, which we’re not, and thank goodness for that, I firmly think that the ghosts should be the first things cut. Well, the second, after the scene with Clarence’s children. But early in the cutting process.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,
-Vardibidian.