Austin Pendleton


The Wars of the Roses (Shakespeare’s, Henry VI, Part 3 and Richard III), directed by Austin Pendleton, starring Matt de Rogatis, at the 124 Bank Street Theater—Closing August 19th

The violent reign of Richard III was a popular subject from the time of Henry VIII on, according to the several chronicles and plays that preceded Shakespeare's The Tragedy of King Richard III (ca.  1592), and his own play was an immediate success with the public, as the five quarto editions published before his death attest, and has continued to be a favorite until the present day—not least because of the rich meat it provided for star actors, from Richard Burbage on.  Popularity creates expectations.  Richard's opening monologue is one of the purple passages that sticks in the mind of even the most casual Shakespearean, and Shakespeare gives some hint of the story's rootedness in the minds of his audience by meticulously chronicling all ten of Richard's most heinous murders, recapping them in Act V in the successive entrances of their ghosts.  Even though some of Shakespeare's predecessor felt no compunction to be so thorough, he felt the need to satisfy his audience's appetite for guilt and gore with each and every one of them, and that may well have been one of the keys to the play's success.

The Saintliness of Margery Kempe, by John Wulp—Saint or Diva?

Margery Kempe, as portrayed by the excellent, feisty Andrus Nichols, would indeed try the patience of a saint. Nichols, part of the splendid cast of The Saintliness of Margery Kempe, plays the title role which is loosely based on the real fourteenth century woman who wrote what is often considered the first English language autobiography, abandons her husband and six children, (the real Kempe had fourteen), to find herself in the larger world.
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