Richard II: Convince me to spend the money

Update: Feb. 18, 2010. We  finally made a play at the Sidney Harmon Hall, where we happened to meet:
Sidney Harman Hall  House Managers Extraordinaire

Well’ I’m going back and forth on this one…

I have seen Richard II  once before, but the production was my least favorite of the 20 or so Shakespeares I’ve seen live. I actually left the play feeling kinda bored… But then after reading the play (Which was great!),  I saw the DVD version with Derek Jacobi and was dazzled. After that it became one of my favorites… So now the question is, do I want to spend the bucks to see Richard II performed by The Shakespeare theatre Company in DC? I’ve never been to the Sidney Harman Hall to see a Shakespeare theatre  Company performance, but I understand they do a fantastic job. Normally I go to smaller venues because I believe Shakespeare is best experienced in an open, lights on kinda fashion… All the glam in the world cannot make Shakespeare sound better.

But there is a wide range of ticket prices from $20.00 to $72.00 for this production. So for $20 am I stuck in nose bleed seats catching maybe every other word? Or for $72 do I get caviar and a foot massage?

I guess I’m just hoping someone will convince me to spend the hard earned cash, and let me know what the best seats are for the buck… Cause after reading the play and then seeing the DVD I really want to give this play another chance live.

You can email me at Jamie@marylandshakespeare.com or just click on the comment link below.

Richard II On DVD: 1978 Staring Derek Jacobi

djacobi_richardI just recently  watched Richard II from the “BBC’s Complete works of Shakespeare” DVD collection, and thought I would pass this on. I had watched this DVD without reading any reviews, so I went in with no expectations. Not to mention I had read that this was one of the more difficult plays to perform, so that lowered my expectations even more. And last, but not least,  the live version I’d recently seen was probably the least favorite of all the Shakespearean productions I had ever seen… period!. So’  if on this DVD, Derek Jacobi came out dressed in a duck suit, and quacked out the Soliloquy from Hamlet I would not have been surprised, and all my expectations would have been met. (Okay’ Now I’m just being silly, and the live version I saw really was not that bad, it just felt two dimensional and I didn’t like the way Richard was portrayed.)

So I popped in the DVD and… Wow! No’ Really, Wow… Derek Jacobi owned this role. I am not a critic who can analyze Shakespeare line and verse, but I do know when I have seen something amazing, and this left me stunned. If you are a Shakespeare, or Derek Jacobi fan, do yourself a favor and check out this version. You can rent it  at Netflix.com (Cheap), or buy it from Amazon.com for $130 as part of the BBC Shakespeare Histories 5 play collection.  Or you can do what I did an go to Amazon UK and buy the BBC’s  Complete works of Shakespeare (Same as the 5 above plus the rest) on DVD for about $122.00 plus shipping directly from  England. Keep in mind if you order from Amazon UK, these disks will not play on your standard DVD player unless that player can handle Region 2 DVD’s or your DVD player is region free. (leave a comment if you need more details).

If you want more details about this DVD you can check out the info at imdb.com where you will find a ton of reviews, casting information, ect.

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