Dec. 28th, 2013

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Saw Globe's production of Richard III today, which plays in repertory with Twelfth Night we attended earlier. This play is just as spectacularly produced, with lavish costumes faithful to Shakespeare's era, authentic music and spare but lovely decor. The cast was great, handling bard's words with ease and grace, fitting their characters perfectly... except, that is, for Richard, who was despicable and not in a good way. Richard, in my opinion, was supposed to be vile and conniving, sinister, manipulative and ruthless, but at no point goofy or clownish, and he certainly was not written as the play's comic relief. I was absolutely appalled when Mark Rylance limped and stumbled onto the stage to wink and grimace his way through "Now is the winter of our discontent..." It got progressively worse from there, I literally cringed every time Richard showed up and opened his mouth. I was sorely tempted to revive the tradition of throwing rotten produce at the stage. For the life of me I can't understand why the rest of the cast was so convincingly acting out a tragedy while Richard was performing a bad gag-filled comedy.

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