Friday, October 11, 2013


We didn't set out to become Shakespeare fans.  Reading and watching all his plays was just another projects in the very long line of project ideas that have come and gone over the years.  The first play or two we read aloud ourselves and then watched movie versions.   But then we discovered Portland Actors Ensemble(PAE) and watched Henry IV part I one fateful July day.  That was a joint collaboration with the Northwest Classical Theatre Company and NWCTC continued the saga in the Autumn and so we took our place in the tiny Shoebox Theater and it was in the Shoebox Theater we became Shakespeare Fans.  We see Shakespeare other places, of course.  There are too many good companies here, and many of them provide us our Shakespeare on a donation basis.  But there is something about the intimacy of the setting, combined with the camaraderie of the company that hits a pleasure center in the brain hard and fast and keeps us coming back.  In fact, we haven't missed a show since our first foray.

All that is to say that the production of Richard III was incendiary.   This wasn't even the first time we've seen Richard III done.  PAE did a bonus performance in the autumn two years ago and we attended.  Matt won a shirt.  It was a good performance, and absolutely nothing like this.  Grant Turner, as Richard III had a raw physicality and intelligence that grabbed attention and held it.  The rest of the cast just kept going and I'm not a theater critic so I can't parse the whole show, but this was good stuff.  If you saw it, you know it to be true and if you didn't, well friend, you missed out.

The names of the dead were chalked on the wall as they fell.
We chose our side carefully...
We went with York.
Staged for the opening.
At intermission, you could see Richard's power grab.
These chains were important several times.  And they were stored right beneath my feet.
Our team.
After the show.
This was the only show I've seen evidence of the prop table.


balyien said...

Every time I read one of your posts about a play you've seen, I think to myself "I should really go see more plays." There's even a theater not too far up the street from me, WaterTower Theatre. But I never go.

As soon as I saw this post today, I immediately went to WaterTower Theatre's website and called up their calendar. Looks like they're doing a murder mystery in December. I plan to be there!

Thanks for the inspiration. You always make going to plays sound like so much fun. :)

Sara K. said...

Very interesting. I love the multimedia elements of the show.

Patricia said...

If I had more money, I'd be seeing a lot more plays. I love them more than movies in some ways. They are so ephemeral.