I’m still getting over the fact that last night for a study break I walked three blocks and paid about $20 to see a play from across the Atlantic and stars a famous, talented actor. Granted, projecting it onto a screen at a movie theater isn’t QUITE the same thing, I can still tell people that I saw the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Richard II starring David Tennant. That’s pretty cool when you think about it that way, right?
Since I had never seen a production of this work before and know very little about the historic figure around whom it centers, I wasn’t sure what to expect. However, I was excited to see our friend David Tennant. Yes, I was one of THOSE people. Judge me all you want. My friend Josie, who is also a David Tennant fan and knows quite a bit more about Shakespeare than I do, invited me to go with her two days before. It turned out to be one of the best semi-spontaneous decisions I have ever made.
It took a couple scenes for the play to cut through the finals fog. But once my brain was awake, I became invested. The intensity of the cast grabbed my attention and held it until the curtain dropped. The title character’s transformation from an egotistical, seemingly invincible power addict to a damaged, miserable victim of his own position chilled me to the bone. Henry’s passionate anger over the way his cousin has abused his power gave me goosebumps. One could chop the tensions with an axe. This was all performed with a minimal but fantastic set and beautiful period costumes.
If I had more prior knowledge about the play I would have more to say in order to express my enjoyment of it. Overall it was incredible and I’m glad I took advantage of this opportunity.