Jul 01

The Hollow Crown: Richard II – Well Worth Watching

Finally. Last night, after all the waiting and the trailers, the first part of The Hollow Crown, Richard II, was shown on BBC 2.

I absolutely loved it. Gorgeously shot and superbly acted, especially by Ben Whishaw in the titular role. One nice little touch was the death of Richard mirroring the martyrdom of St Edmund, also a king, that was being painted in one of the earlier scenes.

St Edmund , of course , was one of the saints pictured with Richard II in the The Wilton Diptych, along with St Edward the Confessor and St John the Baptist.

It could have done with an intermission though – time to make a cup of tea. It was too good to miss any of it.

But don’t just take my word for it. Here is a proper review:

The Hollow Crown: Richard II,  review from The Telegraph

If you missed it there is always BBC iPlayer. And, you get the added bonus of pausing it.

Jun 20

Shakespeare Unlocked

Well the BBC’s Shakespeare Unlocked season has started , well  for me anyway. I seem to have missed a couple of programmes in April. Yesterday evening I watched:

Joely Richardson on Shakespeare’s Women, BBC Four

By focusing on the female roles of his earlier plays Twelfth Night and As You Like It, this documentary set out to show that Shakespeare had an insight into the hearts and minds of women.

I found it very interesting, but then I’m biased – I could find the Telephone Directory enthralling if read by gorgeous Joely Richardson.

I shall be watching Simon Schama’s Shakespeare BBC2 9pm on Friday although it conflicts with David Bowie And The Story Of Ziggy Stardust on BBC Four. Thank god for iPlayer.

I am really looking forward to The Hollow Crown. This is the series of film adaptions of four of Shakespeare’s history plays that cover the reigns of Richard II, Henry IV and Henry V. The trailers look very stunning.

I wonder how it compares to the 1960s BBC series “An Age of Kings” that I remember from childhood.