Shakespeare Solved ®

Shakespeare Solved ® is a forthcoming series of novels that covers the Bard's entire life and work.

These novels solve the mysteries surrounding Shakespeare by transporting us back in time, to walk in his shoes, and see his world through his eyes.

Only when we see Shakespeare in his original historical context can we understand what his plays and poems really mean.

This blog explains some of my ideas and discoveries, to prepare for this series of novels.

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The University of Oxford's Bodleian Library & The Royal Shakespeare Company

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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Kevin Spacey, Netflix's House of Cards and Richard III

I find it very funny that around the same time that the skeletal remains of Richard III are being verified, Kevin Spacey is doing his own brand of Richard III on the Netflix show House of Cards.

He is no stranger to Richard. He played the hunchbacked king last year in a "lurid and gleeful" production under the direction of Sam Mendes -- himself no stranger to Shakespeare.

Kevin Spacey as Richard III

Sam Mendes of course produced the Hollow Crown series and even found a way to inject some Shakespeare into the last James Bond movie, Skyfall.

I did not get to see Spacey as Richard on stage, but watching House of Cards gives me a good idea how he would have portrayed him.

In writing my version of Richard III, I became convinced that Richard is supposed to be played with the maximum amount of humor. He is very playful and he has all the best jokes.

I wrote an article about playing Richard for laughs, when I read about Mark Rylance's funny Richard III at the Globe.

The reason why Richard has to be funny is in order to make you, the audience, like him and find him entertaining. He is a charismatic villain.

When Richard starts killing people, it makes the horror all the more powerful.

I am sure that Kevin Spacey's Richard was as funny as could be. In fact, I cannot think of few actors who could combine humor, charisma and villainy as well as Kevin Spacey.

And so few actors can really do a deadpan face. Spacey's is brilliant. I really love it in the show when he turns to look at us, and he doesn't even have to say anything! Priceless!

I can not say enough about this new House of Cards. The production is excellent, and Kevin Spacey deserves a great deal of credit for not only starring but also producing the series -- with David Fincher and Dana Brunetti, among others.

The cast has obviously been chosen with great care, and there is great blend of familiar faces and new faces. Robin Wright as Spacey's wife is fantastic -- and one of the very best modern Lady Macbeth's I've ever seen.

Of course, this new show is a remake of the original British series starring Ian Richardson as a Richard-like charismatically evil politician who kills his way to the top. I love that series, and Richardson was perfect.

I think it helped a lot that Andrew Davies and Michael Dobbs, who wrote the British original, are back again for this American remake.

I hope you get a chance to see this on Netflix, or when it eventually comes on DVD.


David Schajer

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Playing Richard III For Laughs?

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