Henry Tudor was a villain….

  “….Two years later, after being cast by Laurence Olivier as Henry Tudor in Richard III, he played a villain again in Child in the House….” Oh, the bliss of taking a sentence out of context. Yes, of COURSE Henry Tudor was a villain! The quote is from this link about the great Welsh actor… Continue reading Henry Tudor was a villain….


” Never let it be said that fate itself could awe the soul of Richard.            Hence babbling dreams, you threaten here in vain;            Conscience avaunt, Richard’s himself again” (The tragical history of King Richard the Third)[1]   Richard’s himself again: or is he? There is a moment in Olivier’s film of Shakespeare’s play… Continue reading SHAKESPEARE’S RICHARD III: HERO OR VILLAIN?

I wonder …

Was the late Ronnie Barker a Ricardian? He made something of a habit of referring to Richard’s family. In “The Two Ronnies”: His rhyming slang vicar spoke of “a small brown Richard III” (bird), The pair did a Shakespeare scene mentioning as many television programmes as they could (eg “…the Tyrannies…” for themselves), Peter Sellers… Continue reading I wonder …

The passing of Bernard Hepton….

I always admired Bernard Hepton, who could be guaranteed to bring Class, capital “C”, to any production. His voice was smooth and creamy, and his understated approach always seemed to fit his role to perfection. I remember him in various historical roles, particularly Cranmer. But I didn’t know he was renowned for arranging film fights,… Continue reading The passing of Bernard Hepton….

Coming soon -Plantagenet Ninja Supermarket Sweep!

Originally posted on Giaconda's Blog:
Donald CBE FSA FRHistS  -‘ that’s how many letters I have after my name and still no mention of a knighthood! Snarkey’ will be the talking head behind Channel 5’s new documentary/ game show/ reality tv series which will be launched later this year in response to the great…

Revisiting Azincourt – 600 years of myth making.

Originally posted on Giaconda's Blog:
King Henry Vth ‘O for pity!–we shall much disgrace With four or five most vile and ragged foils, Right ill-disposed in brawl ridiculous, The name of Agincourt. Yet sit and see, Minding true things by what their mockeries be.’ I have always been fascinated by the battle of Azincourt…

The Tragedy of King Richard 111 (not by William Shakespeare)

Part 5 – …” these dukes showed their intention, not in private but openly…”  “Catesby hath sounded Hastings in our business And finds the testy gentleman so hot That he will lose his head ere give consent His master’s child, as worshipfully he terms it,               Shall lose the royalty of England’s throne’ (William Shakespeare)  … Continue reading The Tragedy of King Richard 111 (not by William Shakespeare)

The Search for Ricardian Music

What is a “musical biography”? We know about operas, and their stagings as to certain persons from the past. But, what did composers write about Richard III? Turns out, it’s rather minimal. Why this is, I don’t know. Verdi wrote about past kings of Italy and about other political dynasties, although he was always careful… Continue reading The Search for Ricardian Music