Richard II

On Saturday, i visited the Ruhrfestspiele and saw Kevin Spacey and the London Old Vic company perform Shakespeare’s Richard II. This was an unusual performance for Germany, as the play was performed in English, with “subtitles” floating above the stage.

I have to say, looking around me, quite a few folks were spending most of the play reading those, and that’s sad – as it really distracted from the performance. I can understand the desire to see this play, even if the english is not up to specs for it, but if it results on you just being there and reading the text…

Anyway, we had close to perfect seats, 6th row, less than 10meters away from the stage, dead center. From there, it was a very impressive performance, not so much by Kevin Spacey, but by the other supporting actors. The Old Vic company has a couple of amazing people working for them, and there was no point in the play where you felt that Spacey is “commanding” the stage, or playing them against the wall.

On the contrary, there were points later on where you could sense Spacey not being too happy about his performance of the day.

Overall, well spend Euros. I like it when old plays get a “modern” facelift, like this one, without the avant-gard necessity of nudity, blood, shit or anything else added, like it is so often the case with modern German interpretations.

This was thoroughly enjoyable evening in the theater, with a performance well worth remembering.

Published in: on May 8, 2006 at 1:13 pm  Leave a Comment  

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