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Kingsmen Shakespeare Company is half way through its run of RICHARD II after a successful and refreshing production of MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR featuring many of the same talented cast members including Hannah Tamminen who portrays antagonist Bolingbroke as a woman!
So why should you rush out to see one of the remaining performances of RICHARD II, an early Shakespearean favorite? Here are just 5 exciting scenes that you have to see come to life in person:
#1. “This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England“
Thomas Ashworth (Gaunt) and Brett Elliott (Richard II) share one of the best well known scenes from early in the play. Gaunt (an uncle to Richard II) begs Richard to not be too influenced by his advisors lest England suffer for it. Unfortunately Richard shows his ugly side in this scene and mocks his dying uncle and will not take the man’s advise but rather usurps the lands legally belonging to his cousin Bolingbroke (who’s been exiled) to fill the crown’s coffers.
#2.”Have I not reason to look pale and dead?”
Upon his return to England, Richard II learns that Bolingbroke has illegally returned and the Welsh have aligned with his cousin and enemy. In this scene, Brett Elliott gets some of the juiciest lines to sink his teeth into as Richard II goes from despair to hope to despair again in what might be seen as bipolar behavior.
In this scene, your sympathies change so swiftly after being disgusted with his actions in the previous scene with John of Gaunt. Brett Elliott deserves an award for this scene alone.
#3. “A twofold marriage, ‘twixt my crown and me, And then betwixt me and my married wife.”
Lauren Zbylski who was prominently featured in Merry Wives of Windsor had few scenes to show off her talent as The Queen in Richard II but made the most of her every opportunity. The scene she shared with Brett Elliott as he is sent to Pomfret Castle and she to France without a husband was one of the most bittersweet moments of the show after the intermission.
Your sympathies continue to grow for Elliott’s King Richard II and equally so for his wife who is a victim entirely.
#4. “Speak with me, pity me, open the door.”
In her comedic cameo as Duchess of York, Jillian Doyle who previously had the audience in stitches during Merry Wives of Windsor was an even greater delight giving the audience a chance to withdraw from the harsh realities of the bitter second act. Jillian Doyle together with Ted Barton as the Duke of York and Kenny Toll as their son Aumerle for whose life she pleads were a hilarious trio from start to finish of their two scenes together.
#5. “Spurr’d, gall’d and tired by jouncing Bolingbroke.”
In my favorite directorial decision by Michael J. Arndt, the Groom is now played by Hannah Tamminen‘s Bolingbroke and here with so few lines is where she truly shines. The audience has by this time already been able to empathize with the deposed king and now we see Tamminen’s Bolingbroke exhibit an unease of conscience too before the climatic finale.
So if you are still debating whether you should see Kingsmen Shakespeare Company‘s RICHARD II, I entreat you no I implore you that it would be a loss if you did not.
Lords, I protest, my soul is full of woe,
That blood should sprinkle me to make me grow:
Location (Free Parking):
California Lutheran University
60 West Olsen Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360
Directions from 101-South
Exit Lynn Road
Left on Lynn Road
Continue onto Olsen Road
Right on MountClef Blvd.
Parking is in the first lot on the right.
Directions from 101-North
Take Exit 16 for CA-23 North
Exit Sunset Hills Blvd.
Left on Sunset Hills Blvd
Left on Olsen Road
Left on MountClef Blvd.
Parking is in the first lot on the right.
Richard II 7/19-21, 7/26-28, 8/2-4
All performances start at 8pm
My tickets were comped for review purposes but all opinions are my own.
I haven’t seen the movie yet but with how well you’ve captured those scenes,I’m getting facsinated. I do watch movies when I can; and there are those scenes that always smash it for a movie!
This show sounds amazing! I would love to go to one of these plays and get that experience! Believe it or not, I have never experienced a live show. This will be one of my goals before the end of the year 🙂
Oh I’d love to go. This is right up my alley. No convincing needed. 🙂
sounds like we have similar interests. if you lived nearby we could see a show together.
This is not close to me at all which is a shame. I wish it was so I could watch it.
wish you could see it too. it was so good.
Wow. This definitely would be a great show to see if only I were close by 🙁
do you have shakespeare in the park options near you?
If I could I would totally go and see it, it sounds so great and interesting! I wish they would do this show closer to my city!
do you have any shakespeare options near you?
Richard II is one of my favourite plays! Sadly this is performance is in a different country but it does sound incredible! If you like this play then check out the Hollow Crown Series which is out on DVD it has my favourite version of Richard II along with Henry IV Part 1 + 2 and Henry V!
i had never seen Richard II so this was a great first-time experience. i love the hollow crown series!
Sad that this is way too far from us. I’m just wishing soon it’ll reach PH so I can experience watching this. Thanks for sharing though.
thanks ryce. hope you get some shakespeare near you!
It sounds like a great show to watch sadly because it is too far from my place. I just wish that they can also perform here in our place.
do you have any local shakespeare near you Gervin?
Would love to see a live performance only if I lived closer, maybe one day. Sharing this to my friends who live near the location. Thanks for sharing.
awesome. thanks for sharing this, jen!
Seen a few but when I do see live performances like this, I am just awed! Few people has talents for such acts and their patience is just amazing lol
shakespeare is a special talent and not often performed for that reason and also because i think people can’t understand it.
I loved going to things like that when I lived out in California! I would love to go if I was still living there! Not many amazing shows like this where I am living now.
that is definitely one of the benefits of living in california – all the great arts.
Sounds fun! I really enjoy Shakespeare’s plays and wish I lived closer so I could see this one.
what is your favorite shakespeare play?
This is something I would love to see, if it only would be closer to me 🙂 I love history plays & of course Shakespeare.
do you ever review theatre near you?
This is too far away for me to go to, but sounds like a great show to go and see if you live near the theatre. I have never seen this play before x
it was my first time seeing RICHARD II too. hope you find some great theatre near you in the UK.