Richard II at the RSC

Richard II at the RSC

Here at MPW we strive to give our students a broad range of experiences outside their academic timetable. This year is no exception as the college has managed to secure tickets for Shakespeare’s Richard II production. Tickets sold out in four days but it didn’t stop the college from getting our hands on them!

Tennant, who won over audiences, including Bridget and her daughter, at the RSC in Stratford-Upon-Avon in 2009 when performing Hamlet and in Love’s Labour’s Lost, stars in Richard II this coming Autumn. The production is the first in a new cycle of Shakespeare History plays which forms part of new RSC artistic director Gregory Doran’s 2013 winter season, who will also direct the history play. The relationship between Tennant and Doran follows on from the hugely successful production of Hamlet in 2009, which was also filmed for BBC television.

Speaking about Tennant’s casting, Doran said “I think it’s a challenge for him. He has no problem with verse. He breathes it. He makes it sounds as though it is completely effortless, that he is thinking it in the moment. I think the challenge for him will be to get the single quality that is least evident in the man, that sense of volatility and fragility. That psychology is more alien to David’s character and makes the play more of a challenge for him.”

David Tennant said in an interview recently that watching Derek Jacobi play Richard ll in Glasgow was one of his formative experiences when he was a student; he said it was always one of those parts which has always fascinated him – it was always something that was “extraordinary and enticing and somehow unknowable.” He sees Richard not as a hero, but a complex character which he finds daunting but exciting. Certainly our students at MPW are excited about the opportunity to see David play this challenging role.

Bridget, who teaches the A level English Literature course at MPW Birmingham, said,
“I am keen to not only give opportunities to students taking English and History in their A level course, but to encourage all of our students to enjoy theatre. With a former Dr Who in the leading role, taking the journey back in time to Richard ll will not be a problem!”