The Dell

Plantaganets, plots and pies

June 27, 2013

Rehearsing Richard III in the streetAs props and costumes continue to be made I am increasingly falling over swords, axes, helmets, crowns, masks, severed heads, cloaks, light sabres and piles of velvet; I can't find any bowls because they're all being used for papier mache, paint or glue and every conversation is punctuated with cries of more diabolical things we can add to death scenes. There are also plenty of scripts about the place.

Mary has completed the final edit of the script and it's fantastic! Our five year old Prince(ss) in the Tower read her lines: when she got to 'Or die a soldier, as I lived a King' she grabbed a pen, crossed out 'King' and replaced it with 'Qweyn'. She has also taken against the name Prince Edward and is going to be Daphne instead; Vaughan is thinking of changing her name to Velma, and with all the references to dogs we could work on developing a proper 'Scooby Doo' theme with Richard saying 'A horse! A horse! I would've got away with it if it wasn't for you meddling kids!'

We are working on the final dream sequence where Richard is visited by the ghosts of all the people who's deaths he is responsible for. We have two stilt walkers (Amy and W James) who will appear amidst the ghosts wearing giant heads, one being a horse for a nice bit of dramatic irony!

St John Frothington Smythe who wrote the controversial tome Richard III was Lovely Really came to give us a lecture, however I fear his pleas for Henry Richmond to be revealed as the villain he really was will fall unheeded.

Representatives of the We Want Richard's Bones (when do we want 'em? Now!) Campaign got into a disagreement about what Richard's favourite pie was and had to be asked to leave. For those interested the choices of pie were rabbbit - eaten by peasants, makes him a man of the people - and cockatrice - doesn't exist, makes him a fantasist... I leave you to your own conclusions.

The Guild of Plantagenet Piemakers have accepted our invitiation to come and watch our production, hopefully they will bring some pies. Shakespeare is planning to come too, last year he was the prompt for several of our performances and we're delighted he is considering helping us again (though he was a bit grumpy when the children jumped on him).

I am a bit worried that any Ricardians in the audience might lead an attack on poor Shakespeare: ours is not exactly a balanced view of Richard!

Richard III and Jelly BabiesThe children and I imagine the play like some kind of Manga cartoon with Richard black cloaked and vampiric with crows and bats circling him, whilst Henry Richmond floats on a carpet of blossom with a host of golden angels ... although the 'real' Henry Richmond who lives in my house looks more like Max from 'Where the Wild Things Are' chasing everyone with a sword (it does make all those ordinary things like washing up and putting the milk bottles out a bit harder than usual, though infinitely more interesting).

Breaking News: there is a shortage of Jelly Babies in Hebden Bridge , and reports are coming in of a run on the sweet shop led by The King's Troupe ...

by Ellen Mateer  |  No comments yet

Previous in The Dell
« Let's parlez Franglais

Next in The Dell
Rain stops play at Agincourt »

Post a Comment

Email address is optional and won't be published.
We ask just in case we need to contact you.

We reserve the right not to publish your comments, and please note that any contribution you make is subject to our website terms of use.

Email newsletter

Sign up to email updates for the latest RSC news:

RSC Members

Already an RSC Member or Supporter? Sign in here.

Teaching Shakespeare