The first of Gregory Doran's Richard II production diaries has been posted to the Royal Shakespeare Company YouTube channel. There will be twelve diaries in all during the weeks leading up to the live broadcast of the play into cinemas from Stratford-upon-Avon on November 13th. Gregory promises that these will take in rehearsals, including the Tech rehearsal and will look at the design departments as they build the sets and craft the costumes.
Gregory talks about what the play means to him and how he will be approaching it. It is important, he believes, not just to see Richard II as part of a tetralogy and the precursor to Henry VI, but in its own right as a great lyric tragedy.
He also speaks about how honoured he is to be directing the first play that will be streamed live from the RSC direct to cinemas not only in the UK, but around the world
Gregory also introduces some key members of his cast: Nigel Lindsay, making his RSC debut, and returning veterans of the company Michael Pennington, Jane Lapotaire and Oliver Ford Davies. The play will also introduce a number of fresh faces.
"It's a very fine company indeed with some really terrific younger actors forming the basis of the company around them " he says.
Gregory naturally had plenty to say about the production's star, David Tennant, with whom he last worked five years ago.
"I'm delighted to be working with David Tennant again. We did Hamlet and Loves Labours Lost in 2008," he says.
"What's great about David - apart from his ease with the verse and the fact that he's great to have around in rehearsal - the sheer hard work he puts into a part. He comes into rehearsals charging on all four cylinders. I don't even remember him stumbling over his lines, let alone forgetting his lines, because he's done his homework back home.
"And I think it's his inability to be anything other than contemporary, and his lightness, that he manages to find a kind of comedy, a wit, a human tragedy that is funny within the lines. And I think that's a particular kind of genius"
View the video here:
Richard II opens at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre,
on 10th October 2013 and will run until 16th November 2013. It will then
transfer to the Barbican Theatre in London
from December 9th 2013 until 25th January 2014. The Stratford run has now sold out, but some tickets are available for London dates - click here to book directly from the RSC