Generous in-laws are helping my two professions: teaching in an English Department and writing, rather timidly, mostly about beer.
Last night I saw Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard, directed by Trevor Nunn, at The Theatre Royal Haymarket. To summarize as simply as possible, the play focuses on two minor characters from Hamlet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, who have a series of existential crises while Hamlet’s story happens around them. I had neither seen nor read this one. I enjoyed the humor, and I engaged the philosophical anxiety underlying the play.
Tonight I saw Richard III by Shakespeare starring Kevin Spacey, directed by Sam Mendes, at the Old Vic. This production has some very interesting approach to the sets, staging, and so forth. I had seen a Royal Shakespeare Company production of Richard III about 15 years ago, and of course, this one was much different, but my real interest was in Spacey. His Richard was nasty, funny, ruthless and aggressive — in ways only Spacey can do it. Mendes was right, in his program comments: After seeing The Usual Suspects and Seven, he knew Spacey would make a perfect Richard III. Thinking about tonight’s performance, I would add Spacey’s roles in The Big Kahuna and maybe Glengarry Glenn Ross. It’s that kind of Spacey who comes out in Richard III.