National Theatre Live: The Tragedy of King Richard the Second | Interview with Simon Russell Beale


If I can get across to the audience Richard’s pain at losing his sense of self then I’ll have done my job, I think. ..upon their spotted souls
for this offence! My lord, uncurse their souls… What say you now? The play is about a power struggle,
that’s the simplest way to describe it. It’s about a king who loses his crown. I’m sitting on the set at the moment
and it’s just a box. And in fact, we’re reduced to simply
a crown, and that’s quite important, because the crown becomes like a game. You know, whoever holds the crown,
whoever is wearing the crown is the king! What has become of Bagot? In terms of it being modern,
power struggles are power struggles. I think that has enormous
resonance for now. It doesn’t feel like a modern story,
but it is a modern story because it is about identity. This is not the Richard II you’re
expecting, if you know Richard II.

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