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Archive for the tag “Hollow Crown”

A new take on “Full Metal Jacket”….!

Before anything else, let me identify the above illustrations. Top left is, um, supposedly a 15th century back armour. Whoever wore it, male or female, was rather peculiar anatomically. 2nd top left is a Boccaccio Amazon Queen. 3rd top left is an illustration from the British Library, and top right is Queen Isabella with her lover, Roger Mortimer. Bottom left is Joan of Arc, and bottom right is Sophie Okonedo as Margaret of Anjou from “The Hollow Crown” series.

Right, now to explain what links them all…in case you haven’t noticed all the armour! There is a very interesting article at http://www.womenyoushouldknow.net/surprising-truth-behind-armor-dress-whipped-facebook-page-frenzy/, featuring a very novel armour dress. The full thing, plentiful skirt to the ankles, the lot.

armor-dress-3-e1418153394522-630x420

Totally illogical, of course…at least, it would be if it were the real thing. As the article explains “…The dress is not an original object from the Renaissance, made of metal … it is made of plastic and represents the style of that time…” And as a conception, it’s daft – just imagine mounting your horse to go into battle! Looking at illustrations of warrior ladies from the past, it’s clear they only protected their upper half, with a sort of peplum below the waist. Below that, just the usual skirts, albeit probably in some thick, heavy material. But Joan of Arc seems wrong in the above illustration of her. Didn’t she always dress as a man/boy?

As for the back armour at top left. Can’t be for the back, surely? I mean, who has bosoms at the back? No man I can think of, nor any women, come to that. Unless, of course, you know better…?

‘The Hollow Crown’: A Poisoned Chalice or the Ultimate Prize?

Giaconda's Blog

benedict Benedict Cumberbatch as Shakespeare’s Richard III

I am currently watching the second instalment of Shakespeare’s history plays, concerning ‘The Wars of the Roses’ as interpreted by the BBC’s condensed and somewhat, contorted adaptation.

The first part of ‘The Hollow Crown’ covered Shakespeare’s history plays: Richard II, Henry IV, Part I and II and Henry Vth.  It was, for the most part, an excellent production. A combination of strong casting, brilliant original material and interesting sets made it a joy to watch. Simon Russell Beale’s Falstaff was a triumph. He gave a mesmerizing performance which managed to capture all the facets of Falstaff’s complex character in little more than a look or a gesture.

The overwhelming sense of these plays was the great burden which kingship brought for the poor unfortunate who wore the crown. In another blog post I have written about this in detail, taking specific lines from each of…

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Are you serious, Mr Jones….?

Hairy, phallic Richard

 

Oh, good grief, now we have a bearded Richard (totally evil, of course) courtesy of Dan Jones. Mr Jones is having a laugh, right? Must be.

 

 

Shakespeare’s Hollow Crown: The Burdens of Kingship for Plantagenet Kings

Giaconda's Blog

crown

Having just written two blogs on Henry Vth and touched on this subject, I wanted to explore Shakespeare’s re-occurring theme of the burdens of kingship in his history plays with particular reference to Richard II and Henry IV, Parts I and II and on into Henry Vth and Richard III.

Richard II’s famous monologue sums up the perils of medieval kingship thus:

For God’s sake, let us sit upon the ground
And tell sad stories of the death of kings;
How some have been deposed; some slain in war,
Some haunted by the ghosts they have deposed;
Some poison’d by their wives: some sleeping kill’d;
All murder’d: for within the hollow crown
That rounds the mortal temples of a king
Keeps Death his court and there the antic sits,
Scoffing his state and grinning at his pomp,

Wonderfully concise and arresting lines which powerfully express the fears which weigh on…

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Plantagenet actors….?

Dail Mail - Richard III

Yesterday there was a comment on a Facebook group by a lady named Elizabeth Borson, that Kit Harington, the actor who plays Jon Snow in “Game of Thrones”, is a descendant of William Catesby, Richard III’s advisor. Kit is apparently also descended from Charles II, but it is Richard’s era that is of interest to us on Murrey & Blue, so with all due respect to Old Rowley, he is a mere sideshow here. ‘Kit’ was certainly a very popular diminutive in Stuart times, but it’s this Kit’s Catesby connection that interests Ricardians.

So imagine my surprise this morning, to receive (via Google Alert) a link to the Leicester Mercury in which it is stated that Benedict Cumberbatch, the Sherlock Holmes actor who is soon to appear on our screen in “The Hollow Crown” series, as Shakespeare’s Richard III, is a descendant of Edward III, and therefore has a blood connection with Richard. How very appropriate!

Now I have to wonder if there are other actors who can glance back over their shoulder to someone well-known in Richard’s time? Perhaps even Richard himself?

No matter how earnestly I stare over my shoulder, it’s very doubtful that I’ll spy any Plantagenets. It would be nice though . . .

Here is the link to the Leicester Mercury article: http://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/Actor-Benedict-Cumberbatch/story-25800912-detail/story.html

Shakespeare’s “Richard III” being filmed at Leeds Castle….

Dail Mail - Richard III

Here is a link to a Daily Mail article (28th November 2014) about the filming of “Richard III” for the BBC2’s forthcoming TV series “The Hollow Crown”, which is based on Shakespeare’s history plays. Benedict Cumberbatch is Richard, and the filming is at Leeds Castle in Kent. The article contains a number of interesting pictures.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2853172/Newly-engaged-Benedict-Cumberbatch-gets-work-brings-doomed-King-Richard-III-life-atmospheric-shoot.html

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