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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Simon Russell Beale and Shakespeare


Simon Russell Beale is one of the greatest actors in the history of Shakespeare.

I have read about many of the productions he has done, since I have unfortunately seen too few of his stage performances. Where are the DVDs of his Iago, his Timon?

But what I have seen, including his marvelous and award-winning Falstaff in the Hollow Crown series, is extraordinary.

I found some pictures of his career, and I thought it would be fun to share them with you.

His first stage performance was as Hippolyta in Midsummer, at primary school. Sadly I could not find a picture of that.

But I did find a picture of him as Desdemona in a later school production.

as Desdemona in 1975

as Thersites in Troilus and Cressida, 1990
Royal Shakeseare Company

as Richard III, 1992
Royal Shakespeare Company

as Edgar with David Bradley as Gloucester in King Lear, 1993
Royal Shakespeare Company

as Edgar

as Ariel with Alec MacCowan as Prospero, The Tempest, 1993
Royal Shakespeare Company
As Iago, with David Harewood as Othello, 1998
National Theatre

as Hamlet, 2000
National Theatre

as Malvolio in Twelfth Night, 2003
Donmar Warehouse
as Benedick, with Zoe Wanamaker as Beatrice, in Much Ado, 2007
National Theatre
as Leontes in The Winter's Tale, 2009
Old Vic
as Leontes

as Timon of Athens, 2012
National Theatre

as Falstaff in The Hollow Crown

as Falstaff

as King Lear, 2014
National Theatre
as King Lear

And there is some recent exciting news, that he will return to the stage, and return to the Royal Shakespeare Company for a new production of The Tempest, directed by his longtime collaborator Sam Mendes.

as Prospero in the forthcoming Tempest

He will play Prospero, and from what I have read (article here) it sounds like there will be some 3D special effects.

I hope you enjoy this pictorial celebration of his career in Shakespeare.

I think he was born to perform Shakespeare’s plays. He started on stage with Shakespeare and I hope and fully expect that he will continue to perform the Bard’s plays for many more years to come.

I have often thought about him, and what part I would want him to play in my Shakespeare Solved series.

The one historical figure I would love to see him play is William Cecil, Lord Burghley.

William Cecil

William Cecil is one of the most important men in world history, and his long and close partnership with Queen Elizabeth I is a fascinating story that has never really been told.

Shakespeare based his Polonius character on Cecil. If Shakespeare was a good judge of character, then we should conclude that Cecil was also one of the most villainous men in history.

I think that Simon Russell Beale would be perfect to play this complicated and paradoxical historical figure.

Cheers,



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