Richard II with Derek Jacobi

You may my glories and my state depose, but not my griefs; still am I king of those. Derek Jacobi looks at Richard II and returns to a role he played 30 years ago: the story of a king who loses his crown.

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  • cynthia dower

    great series-it goes into the history behind the history plays -what was artistic license – but apparently is some cases it was almost direct quotations-it seems a little literary borrowing was deemed exceptable in those days.Plus it gives the actors take on the charactors.I loved Ben Whishaws Richard 11 until i saw a clip of Mark Rylance playing Richard 11 and in 3 minutes i was completely smitten.But thats what i love about theatre and Shakespeare -no one actor is ever deemed to own a part.Because of the longevity of television series people start to feel that the charactor can only ever be played by one actor.In a strange way its the comic book films which also allow the transition of actors to happen although people still get more upset about it than in the theatrical dramas film or otherwise.’

  • cynthia dower

    i had never really enjoyed the Shakespeare’s history plays until i was flicking the channels after the tennis and came upon the play within play scenario between Prince Hal and Falstaff and was instantly mesmerised and have now watched the completes series Richard 11,Henry IV pt1 &2 and Henry V several times.They are very accessible with some incredible acting not only from the leads Ben Whishaw,Tom Hiddleston and Jeremy Irons but within the smaller parts as well.Anton Lesser from the Hour really stood out for me as did Joseph Patterson and Joe Armstrong(Game of Thrones).Henry Vth has been filmed so many times with great actors that its always hard to pick a favourite interpretation but at the moment its Tom Hiddleston because not only does he play both Hal and Henry which gives you great understanding of Henry’s charactor arc but he plays Henry with a spiritual eloquence which provide insight into the burden of leadership.

    In terms of my favourites before watching the Hollow Crown, The Tempest,The Taming of the Shrew,A Midsummers Nights Dream,Hamlet and King Lear are on the list.But recently I saw Mark Rylance as Richard the 111 and the production brought out alot more of the humour so it crept into my favourites as well.Just hard not to love them all once you have seen them

  • Alison Bell

    I was enjoying this until he brought up the tired old authorship “issue”. It rather distracted me from an otherwise good program.

  • cab715

    I love almost every minute of this series. It’s just a shame that Sir Derek had to hijack the middle of his episode to inflict his Authorship “theories” on us all yet again. .

  • Dr. Bob Zaslavsky

    I just finished watching the next two episodes of the BBC Shakespeare Uncovered Series: (3) Derek Jacobi on playing Richard II and (4) Jeremy Irons on Shakespeare’s history plays, especially Henry IV, parts 1 & 2, and Henry V (air date Friday, February 1, streaming since Saturday). Both episodes were solid but not outstanding.

    Derek Jacobi’s examination of Richard II was the better of the two, despite the unfortunate excrescence of his hare-brained adherence to an alternate author theory of Shakespeare’s plays. It had the advantage of being focused on only one play, and it was thoughtful.

    The Jeremy Irons survey of the two Henry IV plays and Henry V suffered from having to cover too much ground in too short a time. This left me feeling unsatisfied and frustrated, because no sooner did the presentation draw me in than it quickly drew me forward to another scene before the preceding scene had received a full enough examination.

    Nevertheless, both programs fulfilled what I assume to be at least one of their purposes: they motivated me–not that very much motivation were needed–to reread the plays at issue (Richard II, which I have already completed, and the Henries, which I am about to begin).

    I can say safely that Shakespeare is the writer to whom I return repeatedly with more profit and more relish than any other writer.

  • Iris M. Gross

    Well I have never heard of the authorship theory some are so afraid of, so I’m able to keep an open mind. I was intrigued at the end when Sir Derek said he would have played Richard differently than 30 years ago. Mr. Jacobi, I don’t know of an artist who doesn’t look at a previous work and find something to improve upon. I feel you!