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Poor “old” Richard….!

Reece Dinsdale

Oh, dear, yet another actor well in his fifties, playing Richard, who was just in his thirties! I suppose they have to do this, so that Shakespeare’s daftness about Richard fighting in the 1st Battle of St Albans (when he was still only two) can appear more likely to the gullible!

What do I think of it so far? Rubbish!

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4 thoughts on “Poor “old” Richard….!

  1. If it’s on stage, it’s all right, the age difference isn’t as conspicuous as it would be onscreen. Actors and actresses have been playing younger parts on stage for centuries, with success.

    On screen is different. Age shows.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, Shakespeare’s Richard is practically a fictional character, he can be any age the play wants him to be. It’s not like the text of the play has anything to do with actual timelines of events, anyway (to say nothing of events themselves).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. viscountessw on said:

    Even so, I would rather Richard was at the very least the right age. Otherwise the only thing that’s correct is his name! Shakespeare is already taken as actual history by too many, without the theatre helping it along with 56-year-old actors playing a young man of only 32. Would they have Dame Helen Mirren or Dame Judi Dench playing Juliet? I know, I know, it’s a work of fiction….

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    • Well, not Judi Dench or Helen Mirren – but, as a matter of fact, Juliet and Romeo are often played by actors way too old to pass for teenager, both in theatre and on screen. Juliet is supposed to be 13 and Romeo is in his teens, but, for instance, the 1936 George Cukor movie had the eponymous couple played by the 34-year old Norma Shearer and the 43-year old Leslie Howard, which is an even bigger age difference than 50-somethings playing Richard III, especially since the youth of Romeo and Juliet is an integral part of the story – it’s hard to imagine adults acting the same way (I find Romeo’s and Juliet’s behavior hard to believe in the first place, especially with the “love at first sight”, but at least one can say that the two f them being hormonal, over-dramatic adolescents may start to explain it).

      This happens to a lot of characters in classic literature, thanks to the youth of many classic characters, and the fact that famous actors tend to be much older than the characters are supposed to be. Hamlet is also often played by middle aged actors who are sometimes of almost the same age as Gertrude and Claudius (in some productions even older). And that may in fact have been the case from the start, considering the fact Richard Burbage played Hamlet. Although Hamlet’s age seems ambiguous in the play, maybe because of that very fact.

      King Lear is the one character that often gets played by much younger actors who don’t want to wait till their old age to play the role.

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