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Unlikely pairings of Richard’s friends and enemies….

character pairings

At present, the theatrical world is obsessed with the Bard’s “Richard III”, and to me it seems there cannot possibly be anything new to say about this multitude of productions. But this review caught my eye for a very Ricardian reason. What might that be? The curious doubling up of ‘one actor = two characters’. No, not because I don’t like this sort of cross-gender thing, or the messing around with the period, but because the character-pairings themselves are (to me) thought provoking.

Here’s the paragraph that contains the information:-

“An eight-person supporting ensemble of company regulars and newcomers portrays multiple characters in Shakespeare’s complex narrative, with some cross-gender casting–Alda Cortese as both Margaret and Edward; Mary Elizabeth Scallen as Elizabeth and Tyrell; Peter DeLaurier as Hastings and the Duchess of York; Margaret Ivey as Lady Anne and young Edward—that aids in distinguishing between the personages (to lend further assistance, the program provides a genealogical chart and a list of factions in the War of the Roses and the Houses of Lancaster and York).”

Right, now let us imagine that the real 15th-century persons were in cahoots….

Margaret of Anjou and Edward IV?

Tyrell and Elizabeth Woodville?

Hastings and the Duchess of York?

Perhaps it’s just the fiction author in me that finds these truly fascinating. Could I write plots based on these unlikely soulmates? Yes! But it would be pure fiction, of course….



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