Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Well I don't know about you, but I'm terribly excited about the BBC's Hollow Crown season - new productions of Henry IV Parts 1 and 2, Henry V and Richard II. Tom Hiddleston, Ben Wishaw, Rory Kinnear? Don't mind if I do.
I have to say, much as I like the lovely Loki (his Anglo-Saxon insult in Avengers Assemble is a pretty astounding moment) it's Richard II I'm really looking forward to. The BBC nerds among you will remember that a performance of the play was broadcast live from the Globe Theatre on the first night of BBC Four, and I was completely captivated by Mark Rylance's almost comic portrayal of the verbose king (you won't necessarily remember that detail).
Later, I saw Kevin Spacey's modern dress version at the Old Vic and couldn't help but be disappointed. Worse, I was pretty bored. I'll grant that Rylance's performance may have given me a skewed - and overly sympathetic - view of the character, but Spacey's Rick 2 was seemed to me so lifeless that there was nothing tragic about his overthrow.
It's the star of The Hour (which I really liked) Ben Wishaw who takes the role in the BBC version - with Patrick Stewart 'guesting' as John of Gaunt - and I would imagine he'll play it somewhere in between. It's a truth universally acknowledged that he's a superb actor, so I can't wait to see what he comes up with...