Friday, 28 February 2014

'...Let Us Sit Upon The Ground...'


Well, it's not been a year yet since my last post, which is an achievement!  I really have been intending to write shorter posts more frequently, rather than waiting for long periods and writing veritable essays, so hopefully from now on I can make this happen.

The most important thing going on at the moment is taking time out and considering a career change - there's so much information out there, I'm feeling quite bewildered at the moment.  There are some options that I'm thinking about, so watch this space...

'Richard II' was absolutely brilliant, as I knew it would be - I still can't believe I was lucky enough to be able to see it three times in total.  I loved going back to Stratford-Upon-Avon so much - I can't believe it had been five years since I was last there to see 'Hamlet', but I will be making every effort to try and go back there a lot more from now on.  This is going to sound strange, but every time I'm there, I feel really at peace, and I can't explain why - I first went there over the August bank holiday weekend, and then again in October and November, and we were really lucky with the weather!

David was completely mesmerising - there'd been so much fuss made in the press beforehand over his hair extensions, which I thought was completely unnecessary - when you saw the full costume, they absolutely made sense in terms of the character and the portrayal he was aiming for, and as the months passed, it got to the stage where I almost couldn't imagine him without them.  I hadn't seen 'The Hollow Crown' and Ben Whishaw's version beforehand, and I'm very glad, as for me, David's performance should be the definitive one.  He managed to make an initially unsympathetic character very real and frail and human - as the play progresses and his power is gradually stripped away, he becomes more and more vulnerable, and by the time you come to the final scene in the prison, your heart really goes out to him.  

'I hath wasted time, and now doth time waste me...' [Act V Scene V]

My favourite scene is probably Act III Scene II, when Richard realises the enormity of his actions and the consequences that now follow - it shows off David's incredible emotional range perfectly.

'...For God's sake, let us sit upon the ground,
And tell sad stories of the death of kings...' [Act III Scene II]

After seeing the play for the first time, I was lucky enough to be able to tell David at the stage door how amazing he was, and for him to sign my programme - he thanked me and thanked me for coming, which meant so much to me.  After seeing it again in November, I was so lucky to be able to have my photo taken with him - I was so nervous and could barely get the words out to ask him, but he said, 'Sure, if you can get near enough!'  There were quite a few people in front of me, and I didn't think he'd have time to wait for them to move over.  I would have completely understood if he'd had to go, but he kept looking across at me whilst he was signing to show that he hadn't forgotten - he really is the kindest and loveliest man in the world!

With huge thanks again to the fabulous Jill Coleman for being the official photographer, this is the result - I've been over the moon ever since!

The play got better and better every time I saw it, and I found myself being able to pick up on the nuances and changes each time.  It was so exciting to see it at the Barbican - I'd grown up hearing about it and wanted to see a play there for years, although it was a place nothing like I'd expected.  I love going to London, too - that's another place I'd like to visit more often in the future.  As ever, thanks again to Katherine for being such a great companion and tour guide!

Well, now it's time to set off on my next adventure, and I promise that I really won't take quite so long to write again (famous last words)...!

See you soon,