RSC - LIVE! - at the Folger Theatre

For the first time and for one night only, the RSC (Royal Shakespeare Company) will be broadcast LIVE at the Folger Theatre from: Stratford-upon-Avon, England! A great way to see live British theatre right here in DC! "Richard II" is the production being broadcast.(Happens to be the play that got me hooked on Shakespeare - a little serendipitous...)

A favorite  quote from the play, and for some reason, the first line of Shakespeare I ever memorized (I think Jeremy Irons' incredible delivery of the line, back in the RSC's 1987 version, had something to do with it):

"Nor I, nor any man that but man is, with nothing shall be pleased till he be eased with being nothing."

Tickets are $18-$20: I encourage members to buy tickets in advance. I thought this could be a good chance for members to get together and see some LIVE British theatre, albeit on a screen! Feel free to bring friends, "guests" etc. It should be fun to participate in this one-off, historic event! The RSC Live streamed in DC!

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  • Betsy L.

    The idea to meet for the movie at Folger Theater was a good one. The acting, however, was a disappointment, and failed to capture the poetry of the play. The Guardian, however, gave it a good review. (Check it out on Google -- too long for me to copy here.)

    December 4, 2013

    • Afsaneh M.

      "Disappointed"­ too! Failing to capture the "tragedy" - was the give-away... what's tragic about a King dying if he's an immature twit with no depth? Like I wrote for Ken, I've refused to read the reviews, as they would cause me to relive the trauma of the experience! But the "Hollow Crown" series - the 4 plays: Richard II, Henry IV (part 1+2) and Henry V have clips on YouTube available. Nice, deep, tragic Richard II there!

      December 7, 2013

  • Ken B.

    The production tended to bring out the worst aspects of each lead character - the vainglorious, waspish, self-aggrandizing nature of Richard and the brute thuggishness of Bolingbroke. By making Richard seem so unstately, it worked against the play's main storyline - the ghastliness of deposing (and ultimately assassinating) a monarch. Yet, in very limited research, I've only found praise for the production. Example: http://www.northdevonjournal.co.uk/REVIEW-Richard-II-starring-David-Tennant/story-20218866-detail/story.html)

    December 3, 2013

    • Afsaneh M.

      Good observations - and agreed. Check out the "Hollow Crown" BBC set that has just come out. No sign of a "twit"-ish Richard II there... I've refused to read the reviews, as their praise would make me relive the trauma inflicted by the portrayal of Richard II as a petty, slapstick-ridden, idiot with no depth, failing to even showcase the "tragedy" component of the play!

      December 7, 2013

  • Afsaneh M.

    Hi everyone,

    After we saw the fickle, slapstick version of the character of Richard II - I found a 2012 BBC production where people had raved about the actor playing Richard II - Ben Whishaw.

    Here's the giving up the crown scene, with no shallow slapstick stuff thrown in. That's how Jeremy Irons played it too, somber and sad:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXGkbBbXVSA

    December 2, 2013

  • Afsaneh M.

    SCHEDULE:

    5:45 - 6:45 : ONE HOUR to mingle at "Sonoma" (Wine Bar + Restaurant) which is walking distance from Folgers.

    "Sonoma": 223 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE Washington DC[masked]

    6:45 : We will head over to Folger's which is a 5 minute walk away, in time for the 7pm performance.

    Look forward to seeing you!
    Afsaneh

    December 1, 2013

  • Ken B.

    The streaming technology may be a lot better now, but the Stratford technology onstage seems to be fallible! Just got this message from a Warwickshire artist friend of mine: "I hope you enjoy David Tennant's Richard as much as I did. At least you will be spared the technical hitch which we had in the live performance, when there had to be a pause to sort out a malfunctioning trap door ! The new Theatre has such technical wizardry and special effects that I suppose this is a price we have to pay occasionally."

    November 12, 2013

    • Afsaneh M.

      The heavy price of our era's "wizardry." The wizardry with Shakespeare are the words themselves, surely - but we do live in an era enthralled by the packaging rather than the content.

      November 13, 2013

  • Ken B.

    It's not the first time!
    Derek Jacobi at the festival in England two weeks ago related playing Lear in a live RSC 'round the world broadcast years ago. He recalled the streaming equipment failed in the middle of the play and had to be fixed - requiring stopping the production. It never quite got up to steam again, though in some time zones they were never aware of the break. Not surprisingly, Jacobi turned out to be a most characterful interview subject at the festival.

    I could not get a seat the current production of Richard II at Stratford because it was an almost instant sellout months before it opened! The reviews were just out when I was over there, and they were good.

    October 28, 2013

    • Afsaneh M.

      "years ago" being the operative word... and today's technology allowing for seamless streaming hopefully!

      October 28, 2013

    • Afsaneh M.

      "Richard II is the first production to be broadcast live as part of the Live from Stratford-upon-Avon Season." - From the Folger Website... It sounds like there'd be more... Link: http://www.folger.edu...­

      October 28, 2013

  • Betsy L.

    I'll go along with our meeting for drinks, etc. before the play, particularly as it will be too late for us to talk afterwards very much. I assume there will be an intermission and it would be nice to gather in some corner to exchange our impressions then.

    October 28, 2013

  • Afsaneh M.

    Just a reminder - that we're buying our tickets individually, and meeting there. I was thinking of getting together before, an hour so before, for drinks/appetizers somewhere in the area... I'll post more later! Excited to see this. What a cool idea - if Live Opera is being streamlined in movie theaters, why not Shakespeare? I hope the formula "works" - and continues!

    October 28, 2013

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