December 12th, 2013

bannakaffalatta, short

In which I am not dead and watch Shakespeare

I'm not dead! It's just been a slightly hectic past few weeks.

Something I learned about time management: I thought that I was being tremendously clever in scheduling most of my physical therapy appointments in the early morning, so I could get them over with and get on with my day. I forgot that with the increasingly close collaboration I have with colleagues in different time zones, early morning is also practically the only time we have to hold important work meetings. This has turned my work schedule for the past few weeks into something akin to a slightly stressful game of temporal Tetris. I've learned my lesson - my last two physical therapy appointments are scheduled for early afternoon. It will mean a bit more driving back and forth, but I think I'll be saner.

Physical therapy is going pretty well. I'm not all better yet, but I've got a pretty functional range of movement in everything except the "reaching up between my shoulder blades" movement, which remains sticky.

And then I got a horrible cold and lay around at home for a few days. Daniel, who knows how to look after a sick Wendy very well, brought me a few liters of diet ginger ale, and the DVDs of the BBC's recent production of The Hollow Crown - Shakespeare's Richard II, Henry IV (Parts 1 and 2), and Henry V. I watched Richard II and thought it was an excellent production. The cast is basically a who's who of British actors, but Ben Whishaw is particularly good as Richard II. Richard II is a difficult role to play, because he's basically someone who is making a great outward show of being king without having the decisiveness or the political savvy to back it up. I think my initial reaction to reading the play was basically, "For god's sake, kid, hand over the crown to Bolingbroke and put us all out of our misery." But when you see the role played by an actor with real charisma, it really changes the play, because you half buy into Richard's image of himself. My only quibble with this version is that they cut down the farewell scene between Richard and his queen, which I remember being really heartbreaking in the Arkangel Shakespeare audio version of the play, and in this version was merely mildly heartstring-tugging.

Also, I think maybe they over-egged the visual coding of Richard as effeminate and Bolingbroke as manly. Because there's really no connection between having fabulous hair and wearing pink and being ineffectual at governance. (Ben Whishaw does have fabulous hair in this, though. If the BAFTA awards had a category for best performance by a ringlet, this would have been a shoe-in.)

Looking forward to watching the rest of the set. Which has Tom Hiddleston as Prince Hal/Henry V. Niiice.