June 22, 1989: Shakespeare, King John

The Pit, Barbican Royal Shakespeare Company

A very fine interpretation of the play. Nicholas Woodeson as King John and David Morrissey as the Bastard Faulconbridge especially good. Costumes a ragged miscellany pulled from the depths of the stores, and telling us vividly that the world is catch-as-catch-can. Very lucid direction by Deborah Warner: dozens of ladders placed against the back scene showed us the siege of  Angiers and, by extended metaphor, the siege of the world. Faulconbridge’s early, disillusioned speech about “commodity” effectively places the play and the production — we see the Bastard’s progress from inexperienced enthusiasm to early disillusionment to a final sense of what the stakes are for living, individually and nationally. Some of the best acting I’ve yet seen the RSC do. Robert Demeger as Herbert also very fine. Ralph Fiennes a very polished Dauphin, as he was also as Henry VI in The Plantagenets.



Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

An American Playgoer in London by Joseph Donohue is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book