Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Standing Ovation at Epidaurus - The Theatre of Theatres - for Kevin Spacey in Shakespeare's Richard III

Epidaurus - the Theatre of Theatres

Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York;
And all the clouds that lour'd upon our house
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths;
Our bruised arms hung up for monuments;
Our stern alarums changed to merry meetings,
Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.
Grim-visaged war hath smooth'd his wrinkled front;
And now, instead of mounting barded steeds
To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,
He capers nimbly in a lady's chamber
To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.
But I, that am not shaped for sportive tricks,
Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass;
I, that am rudely stamp'd, and want love's majesty
To strut before a wanton ambling nymph;
I, that am curtail'd of this fair proportion,
Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,
Deformed, unfinish'd, sent before my time
Into this breathing world, scarce half made up,
And that so lamely and unfashionable
That dogs bark at me as I halt by them;
Why, I, in this weak piping time of peace,
Have no delight to pass away the time,
Unless to spy my shadow in the sun
And descant on mine own deformity:
And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover,
To entertain these fair well-spoken days,
I am determined to prove a villain
And hate the idle pleasures of these days.
Plots have I laid, inductions dangerous,
By drunken prophecies, libels and dreams,
To set my brother Clarence and the king
In deadly hate the one against the other:
And if King Edward be as true and just
As I am subtle, false and treacherous,
This day should Clarence closely be mew'd up,
About a prophecy, which says that 'G'
Of Edward's heirs the murderer shall be.
Dive, thoughts, down to my soul: here
Clarence comes.
Richard III - William Shakespeare

With this well-known Shakesperean soliloquy in the world's most famous ancient theatre, Epidaurus - the Theatre of Theatres, last night, actor/director Kevin Spacey opened his sold out Epidaurus season in what promises to be THE highlight of the annual Athens and Epidaurus Festival this year.

Spellbound and mesmerised by his Richard III, at the end of an impressive and riveting performance the audience rewarded him with a standing ovation.


(The standing ovation was well-deserved we're told. We couldn't experience the magic firsthand despite it being my favourite Shakespeare... unfortunately we didn't make it in time to get tickets, but if you are interested, Greece and Epidaurus, are the first stop of an international tour. You can find out more about The Bridge Project by clicking here   )

Kevin Spacey as the much maligned Shakespearean anti-hero Richard III, 
deformed not just in body but also in soul...

Photo source: The Greek Festival

Reunited for the first time since the Bafta and Academy Award-winning American Beauty, Sam Mendes returned to the stage to direct his old friend, Old Vic Artistic Director Kevin Spacey in the title role of Richard III in the final season of The Bridge Project. 

Mendes is no stranger to Epidaurus, he directed Ethan Hawke in another sold out performance in Epidaurus, his 2009 production of Shakespeare's A Winter's Tale... 

Kevin Spacey is the latest in a long line of world class performers, Greek and non-Greek alike, who have taken the hallowed stage at this magnificent ancient theatre where even a whisper centre stage is audible to all...

Epidaurus - the Theatre of Theatres

World class performers such as  Maria Callas, Rudolf Nureyev, Margot Fonteyn, Jose Carreras, Montserrat Caballe, Katina Paxinou, Dame Helen Mirren, Melina Mercouri, Mikis Theodorakis, Manos Hadjidakis, Alexis Solomos, Kostas Kazakos, Tzeni Karezi, Dimitri Mitropoulos have considered it an honour and the highlight of their careers to perform at Epidaurus - The Theatre of Theatres, along with many many other greats such as directors Peter Hall, Peter Stein, Karolos Koun...

 Maria Callas takes a bow with Maestro Tulio Serafin 
at the end of her performance of Bellini's Norma - Epidaurus 1960.
In 1961 she was once again at Epidaurus, impressive as the fiery Medea...

 Dame Helen Mirren as Phedre in Epidaurus 2009

1 comment:

  1. Theater of kevin spacey is great may
    Spacey's natural home as a screen actor is malevolent pathology. In other roles he is superb, even Oscar worthy, but his magnetism is at its unparalleled best when he is gallivanting in the dark territory with his amoral smirk.


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