James McAvoy in Ruling Class

Update 08/04/2015 with some thoughts on the Oliviers at the end of post

TimeOut photo of James McAvoy (sorry, wish i knew who the photographer was because i really like it!) He seems to be quite fond of the ginger beard 😉

So far theatre this year has been as good as last year, highly entertaining, thought provoking, fun. I’ve been lucky to be able to see a few things and this holiday weekend I’ve got an extra dose. I’ve seen Ruling Class a couple of weeks ago now, but thanks to a generous £15 Mondays plan the Trafalgar Studios do I’m going again on Monday this time with my friends and I hope they will enjoy it as much as I did.

A huge dose of black humour is necessary  🙂

The Ruling Class is a 1968 play by Peter Barnes. Peter O’Toole played the lead role in the premiere and also in the film adaptation a few years later .

This is the first revival of the play on a stage in London, and you’ll see why this may not be an easy play to stage. In a nutshell the subject is as follows (as per Trafalgar Transformed summary):

‘Jack, a possible paranoid schizophrenic with a Messiah complex, inherits the title of the 14th Earl of Gurney after his father passes away in a bizarre accident. Singularly unsuited to a life in the upper echelons of elite society, Jack finds himself at the centre of a ruthless power struggle as his scheming family strives to uphold its reputation.   Bubbling with acerbic wit and feverish energy, Olivier Award-winning and Oscar-nominated writer Peter Barnes’ razor-sharp satire combines a ferocious mix of hilarity and horror whilst mercilessly exposing the foibles of the English nobility.  The first West End revival of this classic cult comedy is directed by Trafalgar Transformed Artistic Director, Jamie Lloyd.’

There are some spoilers ahead, but the run is sadly already close to its end on April 11th so hopefully you won’t mind very much.

James and Kathryn Drysdale

Let me say I think it is a pity these performances are not filmed, generally none of the stuff from the Trafalgar Transformed seasons was and there have been quite a few worthy productions. The Trafalgar Studios are a small place, I’m guessing around 300 seats, maybe slightly more but not much. This makes for a very intimate atmosphere and a very engaging one. The direction, mainly Jamie Lloyd, tends to be more modern, slightly experimental and aimed at the less traditional theatre going audience. Not everything I’ve seen by Jamie Lloyd worked perfectly but I like his ideas and his style and he makes me think about things differently. And he’s certainly not afraid to take on challenging works. And may his artistic collaboration with James McAvoy endure for a long time! I think both their sense of adventure and dare meet very productively on the stage of Trafalgar Studios.

This interview is a good read about their collaboration.

Telegraph photo of James McAvoy and director Jamie Lloyd

This play is … well… bonkers really 🙂 But it uses a pretty outlandish plot to make some dark and valid points about how society round here can function at times. It was certainly more relevant in its day and is less so today, but things have not moved on quite as much as we would like to think. A lot of the irony still works today and there is something eternally human about struggles insides families to keep the hands on the family fortune and influence that comes with it. And something quite disgusting about what people are willing to do to achieve these goals and what is acceptable in society. It is all set up almost as a farce and characters are enhanced to the point of caricature, making us laugh very effectively.

There is anything from the manipulating uncle who wants to stay in charge and who is willing to marry his ex-mistress to his mad nephew, the cheating aunt who gets it on with the nutter’s doctor, the useless cousin who is into politics, the prude ladies of the village, the ever present butler who ends up having to take the blame for crimes he hasn’t committed, etc. And there is of course the main character, Jack (son of the recently deceased earl), who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia.

He starts off as an endearing sweet fellow, who preaches love and thinks himself God and ends up due to the various pressures he’s put under to sober up and take charge of his responsibilities as a much more sinister character. The ultimate irony is of course that when he ends up believing himself to be Jack the Ripper (acting accordingly) he achieves not only the power in the family but also the acceptance of his peers in the House of Lords.

Jamie Lloyd has embraced the story fully and goes to town with it and a visceral, gutsy way. The 2h 40 min of the 2 act play whizz by at lightning speed with much physicality and laughter and even a lot of music and dance! There is never a drop off in the tension and I felt pretty exhausted by the end. These two reviews from the Independent  and Guardian  capture the atmosphere really well  🙂

And nothing spins faster and more bewitchingly so in the play than James McAvoy as Jack. I’ve wanted to see him on stage for quite a while and though I did try pretty hard I never made it to his Macbeth last season. Now I regret that even more.

stil from the Telegraph interview

I’ve seen a few of his films, (yes, including X Men) to know that there is actually much more to him than Professor X.. or what we see in Atonement 😉 I found Danny Boyle’s ‘Trance’ and Eran Creevy’s ‘Welcome to the Punch’(co-starring James’s football mate Mark Strong 😉 ) much more interesting. I’m yet to see ‘Filth’  which I missed in cinemas due to travel, but it is on my to do list. For anyone interested in seeing some real acting chops from McAvoy I can heartily recommend them, though none will be an easy watch :-).

Basically I have known for a while that McAvoy is not your traditional romantic hero type, or rather that he has managed to get out of that drawer pretty effectively for quite some time now. And that he does like a challenge, both physically as well as acting wise. Which is why I was curious as to how and if this would translate on stage (for rehearsal pictures see here).

The answer was pleasantly and to my surprise a resounding YES. If I was exhausted just watching the play I still wonder how he was still standing at the end of it. There was jumping up and down from a cross, unicycling (in just his 70’s tighty whities), dancing, singing, fighting, fencing and all manner of movement, both standing up and lying on the floor. And all this while delivering monologues at jaw-dropping speed and with amazing clarity. He managed to be very convincing preaching love to all in a fake garden with a flower-power wistfulness and innocence. I could hear hearts fluttering at the charming twinkle in his eyes 😉 So boyish and so reckless that you really felt for him being dragged out of his self-induced bubble by the family who wanted him to become acceptable to society.

He essentially gets shocked back to reality by comparison with another patient in the asylum he used to be locked up in. The emotional struggle is almost painful to watch. What follows however is even more mesmerising, though utterly chilling and dark.

The stage reflects this whiff of Victorian era effectively with all kinds of stuffed birds and antiques and he’s changed from the paisley shirt to black and white elegant garb. All emotions are forcefully contained step by step under this new icy, strange persona, which seems to behave normally or at least according to acceptable norm. The drain of any warmth, sympathy is captivating and utterly frightening. I literally wanted to wrap myself up against the cold that was emanating from him. His eyes became those of a cold killer. We also get to see him act out those impulses that Jack then managed to hide very effectively under this external polish. He doesn’t hesitate to blame the butler for his crime, who had been the only person kind to him previously.

James as Jack… the Ripper via Tumbler from larygo

Luckily the tension and the darkness is lifted every now and then by the hilariously ridiculous relatives otherwise I would have wanted to duck under my row 3 seat! So, I laughed along as they broke into dance and song again 🙂 (for dancing gifs and photos scroll down).

There was also a hilarious little accident. He’s incredibly versatile, flexible and agile physically (and a surprisingly good dancer!) and all had gone perfect to a T nearly to the end of the play. But, at one point half way through part 2 he gets into a fencing duel with his former doctor at which point he starts by elegantly swinging his cane as he engages him… only he was going at such speed that he whacked himself quite hardly and audibly in the process! Needless to say we were all in stiches! And so was he… LOL For a few quick seconds he had to lean on a side wall holding his cane rubbing the sore spot and smiling widely. But, he never stopped talking and never missed a beat in the lines while doing so and it only took him one quick breath to be back to his character. It was quite something to see a flash of goofy McAvoy appear and then disappear in a split second and back was the cold killer!

as the Ripper… from JamesySmitten on twitter

The play ends with his big racist and misogynistic speech in the House of Lords. If you could hear away from the content  of what he was saying and focused just on the delivery it could have been Shakespeare! Or rather I had a perfect flash of what he can probably do with and in Shakespeare! I really hope I get to see that.

I came away thinking he’s eloquent and clear, with great natural delivery and presence. He’s a dynamo and he’s extremely charming, not least because he seems to be holding nothing back; on the contrary, he seems to throw himself and all he’s got out there. But even the most profound manic rant felt purposeful and not hysteric. It was intense and focused rather than all over the place.

And I don’t think I actually felt fear like I did right there in front of that stage in a theatre before. He really really frightened me. I had seen him do evil on screen before,  but he proved to me in person that he can make me believe he can be anything he wants to be. To the point that fear lingered long enough for me not to be drawn to stage door after 😉  Those eyes were so so cold…

Until of course he came back for curtain calls and the place erupted in applause and standing ovations and he was smiling like a kid again 🙂 Looking completely knackered at it. There had been no sign the performance was challenging other than if you looked closely you could actually see rings under his eyes appearing as the play went on and it wasn’t make up.

As some of you may know, he’s been nominated for an Olivier for this performance (in hindsight not a surprise, although the run had barely started when the nominations were announced). As I found out with a bit of googling it is actually James’ 3rd Olivier nomination, he’s done well 🙂

I’m looking forward to his next role on stage and hope he’ll keep doing these in spite of his busy career. And cross fingers I’ll be able to bag a ticket for it! It has been a stroke of luck this time as it was a return, every penny well spent!

The production really worked and all the actors were perfectly cast in their roles, everyone was convincing and funny but in a natural way, there was no over-acting , which is not easy given the play. But it is exactly because everyone took their role seriously and acted it with belief and as if it all was just everyday life that the end result was utterly funny.

Finally, i couldn’t possibly withhold from you the cuteness of this extremely accurate version in cartoons of the play from palalife on tumbler 🙂 Enjoy!

Ruling Class By PETER BARNES  – See more on cast, reviews and photos here.

CAST
James McAvoy / Jack Gurney
Rosy Benjamin / Ensemble
Andrew Bloomer / Ensemble
Ron Cook / Sir Charles Gurney
Michael Cronin / Bishop Bertie Lampton
Kathryn Drysdale / Grace Shelley
Serena Evans / Lady Claire Gurney
Oliver Lavery / Ensemble
Paul Leonard / Multi-role
Elliot Levey / Dr Herder
Forbes Masson / Multi-role
Joshua McGuire / Dinsdale Gurney
Anthony O’Donnell / Daniel Tucker
Geoffrey Towers / Ensemble

CREATIVE TEAM

DIRECTOR / Jamie Lloyd
DESIGNER / Soutra Gilmour
LIGHTING / Jon Clark
SOUND & MUSIC / Ben and Max Ringham
WIGS & HAIR / Richard Mawbey
MUSICAL DIRECTOR / Huw Evans
CHOREOGRAPHER / Darren Carnall
ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR / Richard Fitch

Update 08/04/2015 with some thoughts on the Oliviers–>

Since the question has come up several times and i have inevitably battled with it myself since seeing the various plays, here are my personal thoughts about it. It is just my opinion and the result of working through various arguments with myself, trying to use my brain more than my heart in the process, although any theatre visit is essentially an emotional experience 🙂

So, the Oliviers…sorry if this will be a bit long… feeling slightly sad at the moment given RA’s recent questions as it seems he may not be able to make the ceremony. It is hard not to have expectations, but mine only went as far as wanting to see him there, see his name among nominees, see his smiling face and be able to watch it again and again 🙂 The Oliviers are still the biggest deal in London theatre business; they are not infallible, not being nominated does not mean you didn’t perform extremely well (neither i nor any of the people i know who have seen Medeea at the National can understand how McCrory was not nominated for her role this year, huge miss there…). There are wonderful actors who have been nominated again and again and haven’t won it. Take Jude Law for example, i forget how many times he was nominated, most of his appearances on stage have been praised but he hasn’t won it yet (and at least in the Henry V which i saw he was excellent). Same goes for Ralph Fiennes and i am sure many more. I don’t think Kenneth Branagh has one either, but most of his theatre has been done outside London and he’s got a slew of other awards for example. So they are important, but they are not the end all 🙂
I think looking back on all past years you could probably say getting nominated is of more significance in terms of how the profession perceives you than actually winning it. Just thinking of all the things i’ve seen on stage over the past 2 years it still amazes me that they are capable of choosing a winner at all. I’ve seen more than a few performances of strength and character that will stay with me for years to come. How can one possibly rank them as you never compare like with like. Is comedy less than tragedy? Is a 3h plus marathon more important than a shorter play, etc etc etc..
There are however also positive things to be said about the Oliviers: as far as i can tell they do largely reflect the reviews of theatre during the year, so one can expect to see things and people nominated who have done well and on which critics mostly agree in their praises. I also found that even if i am not always in agreement with all critics i do largely agree as a viewer with how they view things. On he stuff that i have seen i haven’t disagreed with them. It is also thankfully true that it is no longer driven by established actors; if you are a ‘name’ in London theatre it doesn’t mean you have better chances to win and you no longer have to be ‘part of the establishment’ to be noticed and nominated. Outstanding performances will shine through. The nominees this year are an excellent example in this respect. None of them have much to do with any establishment, one could argue most couldn’t be farther away from it if they tried 😉
So all in all good reviews + Olivier nomination is a huge pat on the back, it means you have done outstanding work that you should be proud of ( i hope you hear that RA! 😉 and all the other nominees as a matter of fact) .
Choosing this year, phew… i have no idea how on earth they will do it. I’ve been going back and forth on arguments with every play i saw and choices feel generally unfair. I did think that the length and complexity of the role should not matter and it should be just about how well you perform an individual role. But i’ve changed my mind somewhat since. Because at the end of the day some actors have exposed themselves to much bigger challenges and their roles do demand more of them and their skills. One could argue also they were chosen for the roles, but i think it does matter that one is ready to put himself out there, to give more, to go to physical and mental limits and beyond. All roles are not equal and excelling in some roles is considerably more difficult than in others. This is just my very personal opinion but after debating for long with myself back and forth i have decided that the challenges of the role do matter to me.
You could probably read that already through my rambling on the View from the bridge. In the end, even though Mark Strong is an excellent Carbone – and i think he definitely elevated the play – the challenges of roles such as Proctor in the Crucible or Jack in the Ruling Class are considerably more.
It is quite amazing to entertain, make the audience laugh with you, scare them witless, be soft and then ice-cold, tender and extremely violent and do this all equally convincingly in a 2h 40 min play (all this while ranting on with absolute clarity, changing accents and tones and jumping, dancing, going into fits, murdering with a vengeance, etc).
And it is equally amazing to go through the worst of human suffering and the most beautiful of human redemption in a 3h + arch, to create a character so full of flaws, so utterly broken and endear him to the audience in the moment of his death. To create a human life in a nutshell in just a few hours, to draw people in as much with words as with the tiniest of gestures, to make grown men weep and jump up in standing ovations, that is equally unique.
Here are two almost opposite ways of plunging yourself in the depths and heights of human emotion, one through dark bitter irony and the other through tenderness and sadness.
In a way RA put it very aptly, it is about playing hard, giving it all and holding absolutely nothing back.
I personally could not choose between James and Richard, but there is no doubt in my mind that it should be one of them. For me they redefined what can be achieved on a stage in terms of human emotion and experience (at least in what i was expecting to experience on a stage).

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30 thoughts on “James McAvoy in Ruling Class

  1. Thanks for taking the time to document this — you’re probably the only person who’s got something close to a full perspective on the nominations.

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    • wish in a way i’d seen all 4, but was never drawn to that 4th play. In a way it makes it more difficult having seen them as i keep going back from one to the other wondering.. wishing 🙂

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  2. Pingback: Detailed commentary on James McAvoy’s work in Ruling Class | Me + Richard Armitage

  3. I have my own idea about the Olivier nomination and was curious about your opinion. You’ve seen at least three of the best actor nominees. Wish do you believe deserves to win?

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    • i need to get ready and head into town for the repeat of the above but i’ll get back with more extended thoughts as essentially i think it will be a very hard choice. more later, James is waiting 😉

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    • Hi Judi, since the reply ended up somewhat long i’ve decided to include it in the main post, hope you don’t mind. Not sure i’ve answered your questions fully, but it is as much of a choice as i am capable of 😉

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    • I’ll get back on the question, promise 😉 But sweetheart? You know what, it is not at all a term i would associate with McAvoy, i think he’s a really nice bloke and fans seem to really love him but he’s too much of a grown-up man to be a sweetheart 😉 But it think he also worked at growing up a bit faster because he wanted different roles and probably felt he was looking or feeling too young, he’s gotten rid of any lovely-jubbly vibes quite effectively 🙂

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      • Hee, hee. McAvoy strikes me as someone who is professional and polite but does not suffer fools gladly. Ewan McGregor is another one like that, very polite and kind but he can also have an edge on him, a wicked humour.
        Maybe it’s a Scots thing 🙂

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        • well, i seem to be very transparent indeed 😉 I’m a fan of just one and don’t generally follow many actors, not am i a particular movie buff but i do have a soft spot for the Scots 😉 And these two in particular, i have to admit. Tennant is the 3rd. Not that i follow their careers very closely but i find myself watching them on Tv when they are on, reading articles or just looking our for movies they are in.
          I was just thinkingo f Ewan McG this morning on my way to work. He top on my list of people i would like to see live on stage 🙂
          I think their ways are partly a Scot thing, partly having had less standard childhoods, especially James, and having started work very early in life. It sort of follows i think that they know what they want and pursue it with determination. They are also both uninhibited by anything and push against prejudice and limits. So there is very little sweet talking and such going on. I get from both a sense of knowing who they are, what they want, how they see their art and a hunger to do more interesting things 🙂 The sense of humour and accent are a charming bonus 😉 I’m pretty sure they’ll always be among my favourites. Which reminds me i should share something with Ewan on the blog as it is what i was thinking about this morning and want to watch again myself 🙂

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        • Have you seen Ewan’s shows about riding around the world on motorbikes with his friend Charley Boorman? I hate motorbikes but I adored the shows because of the friendship they have. You really get to see Ewan’s personality and I have to say that in spite of that wee edge on him, he is as sweet a lad as they come. Especially in his love for his wife, and his caring way with his friends. I definitely developed a little crush on him by watching these shows 🙂

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        • Me too allthe way! I liked him before but i liked him much more after seeing those series! What an amazing journey him and Charlie were on! I could so watch that again. Deep down McE is probably a big softie:-) the interview is more recent and have to say i don’t know many men who can stand by their emotions so bravely openly as he does or talk about love the way he does:-) i was impressed 🙂

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        • He is amazingly open, isn’t he? It sets him apart because men in general do not feel safe revealing their emotions that way. I love his bromance with Charley. Those two are hilarious, but Charley drives me nuts because he is such a thrill seeker, always popping wheelies or bungie jumping. I feel sorry for his Long Suffering Wife!
          Just got “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.” I am looking forward to it 🙂

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        • yes i wonder which bit of his education was so spot on to make such a nice open person out of Ewan 🙂 and love those 2 together! let me know about Salmon fishing 🙂 will try and get it when back 🙂

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      • Thanks for the update and your thoughts!
        I have only seen two of the four nominees and I really like three of them so if one of them will win it’s okay for me (it’s also okay for me if TPS win the thing 😉 ) but like you I’ll feel really sad if RA can’t make it to the ceremony 😦

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    • ja finde ich auch 😦 auch dass es sie nichtmal nacher auf DVD gibt, ich glaube einiges davon wurde sich gut verkaufen, aber andererseits muss auch einiges halt als live Erlebnis bleiben, wenn man alles aufnehmen wurde usw war es nicht das Gleiche… Aber in diesem Fall denke ich echt schade, genau wie mit seinem Macbeth, von seiner Arbeit auf der Buhne ist soweit ich weiss nichts festgehalten worden..

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  4. This sounds like a fascinating play – just the premise of it, as well as the manic plot and the dramatization in this production. I have to admit that I do not think McAvoy has a suitably “aristocratic” look, but it sounds as if this character didn’t require haughtyness right until the end. OTOH I can just about picture McAvoy energetically, manically inhabiting the stage. The first time I saw him was in Last King of Scotland, and he blew me away, but where I really found him convincing was in the BBC’s Shakespeare Re-Told. His Macbeth was just absolutely brilliant – and convinced me that he was definitely talented.
    So, yeah, sounds as if he is quite a contender for the Olivier. And deserving, too *grumbles*. I wonder what the politics of the Oliviers are… We might find out next weekend…
    Anyhow, thanks for a detailed review. The play really came alive for me – and has reminded me to get back into the swing of my “one play a month” resolution. Or a trip to London 😀

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    • i’ll come back to this at lunch time since i am supposed to be working, ew. You saw his Macbeth… i absolutely, totally hate youuuuu!!!
      And yes we went to see Ruling Class again last night, OMG it was as bonkers as before and even better! Poor soul was struggling with a cold but other than i could hear it in his voice and he had to cough a few times he just blazed through it. No idea where he has the energy, he was absolutely fantastic, we all jumped up at the end 🙂 more a bit later x

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      • No no, I did not see the theatre production by Jamie Lloyd. I am talking about the BBC Shakespeare Re-Told Macbeth, the one where RA played McDuff, set in a restaurant with Macbeth the head chef *ggg*.
        Just read the Telegraph interview – interesting points in there about “who is theatre for”, with references to Hobbit fangirls who “spoilt” the theatre experience in Lloyd’s prduction of Richard III with Martin Freeman…

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        • It is a good interview isn’t it? it fully reflects McAvoy as i see him 🙂 And seeing more of Jamie Lloyd’s work has made me appreciate a lot of what he is about and how he thinks about plays. God, i wish i could have seen that Macbeth! Maybe i should write down my thoughts about the Richard III. Unlike a lot of people i do find the play interesting, the whole premise of it, but it creates a very very complicated character to play. I actually thought a lot about the production after i saw it… it did make an impact and i quite liked the way it tried to bring it closer to our times, the gangster feel of it. Even things that irritated me on the day like a tank of fish or the incessant elevator music from the 2 lifts on stage in hindsight make me laugh. He’s very clever and to me a very talented director. Of course he would be hurt but what people said about it, but objectively it wasn’t his best production at Trafalgar, it wasn’t as effective as either his Macbeth or the Ruling Class which is simply brilliant. But he wouldn’t admit that openly in an interview 😉 But i can also say one thing, if he’d had McAvoy for Richard III we’d be talking a different story about the play. That is what the production needed to take it onto another level, it lacked the strength of its very complicated central character. And while i applaud MF for taking on the role, a very brave move, in that production it didn’t really work for him nor did he work out for the play.
          I was seeing other plays at the same time, like the Medeea at the National and the Crucible and one thing is true, yes there were many more fans in the audience in the RIII and it resulted in undeserved standing ovations for the play. Yes i can feel the rotten tomatoes flying my way, but it is the truth. It was the only performance i saw last year (and i’d seen the Henry V with Jude Law , Coriolanus and Richard II with DT as well as some stuff at the Globe). The production i think did deserve a lot of applause for braveness and having an interesting and good stab at it, but the central performance was simply not deserving of the standing ovation it got. And yes in a space that only has about 300-400 seats the number of fans in presence can have a significant impact on the applause. A lot of the people who sat around me, on stage for that one, barely spoke English which in a Shakespeare play makes it very difficult i think (also in a play like last night which even for native speaks was fast and in addition it was riddled with heavy accents and colloquialisms). I am not trying to be cruel, i am just being honest. I did like it and i thought it was worth every penny i paid for it and as i mentioned i applaud MF for putting himself out there in such a big challenge. But the reviews were not really unfair in that case. More proof for the matter, both the Macbeth and the RC have had great reviews, i don’t think Lloyd can really claim to be hated or marginalised by critics in general 🙂 And i think people now understand better what he is about and what he is trying to do.
          When the audience is more mixed, like it is in this case, also because of the play itself, the reaction is obvious. Of course there are fans 😉 It’s not like James has less of them ;-)))) But it is the reaction on punch lines, the hysterical laughter in the entire place, the horrified silence at the right times, you feel when you have the audience with you at every breath.
          By the way he’s spot on about the price policy, i paid top price in both cases – not by design but because that is the only thing that was available (and in Riii i also wanted to try sitting on stage to see how that felt), £50 for the RIII and nearly £70 for the RC but i had much better seats for the RC since it was the only seat that came in returns, but we saw it yesterday for £15. It was at the very top of what i can afford to pay and i am very grateful that i was able to have such an enriching experience in both cases. He’s made me think , a lot! and not many directors do that these days.
          The Cumberbatch Hamlet tickets are also in the same price range, which i also appreciated.

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  5. Thanks so much for your insights on this play. I agree with Guylty that McAvoy does not have the O’Toole aristocratic look, but he’s such a talented actor that it doesn’t matter. (Love the photos you included, by the way, and especially your description of the gaffe with the stick. He’s a pro and knows how to handle himself onstage!)
    The Shakespeare Retold films are very good. Lots of fun and quite thought-provoking.
    BTW McAvoy starred in this recent film called “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby” (with Ciarán Hinds as his dad). He (Mac) had a flawless American accent and to my mind was more interesting than Jessica Chastain, even though she got most of the glory for the movie.

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    • Ah interesting about the accent, i am glad to hear that 🙂 I know of it as he talked about it i think on the Graham Norton show, but yet to watch. I got a sense he’s not a positive character, yet again 😉 He’s good like that, at surprising the spectator. Trance was great like that, you start liking him and feeling sorry, then you get unsettled and you end up hating the bastard 😉 Need to remind myself to try and watch it, i never seem to get my act together to watch stuff when it is in the cinema. ‘Salmon fishing in the Yemen’ is another, that one with Ewan McG, that has sort of been on my radar for a while.
      I agree he doesn’t have O’Toole’s artistocratic looks, but he does have them nevertheless or can pull them off quite convincingly these days if need be. Not necessarily physically, but in attitude he can do posh and haughty within the blink of an eye LOL. I also find he has actually changes quite a lot physically in the last years, i am sure to his satisfaction the baby-face is gone 😉 He always felt i think he looked younger than his age and by design has tried to combat that. It was interesting watching him on stage and realising that his features have subtly realigned themselves in time to what is now a very many expression, beard or no beard. I find him much more interesting now 🙂 I too feel that his best work is less known and the stuff that is well known is suffering from poor scripts. I liked XMen but tbh without him and Fassbander even i would not have watched it. They are much better than those movies.
      Really need to pick up those Shakespeare retold! 🙂
      Glad you liked the photos, for some reason i really like the first one…

      Liked by 1 person

      • In “Eleanor Rigby” some people found his character unsympathetic, but to me it was the opposite. That’s the beauty of that film, the ambiguity of it. It has two versions, one with his story and one with hers. I do not recommend the combined version, (“THEM”) which Harvey Weinstein made the director do. It ruins the story.
        Indeed, he is aging well. I want to see (and hear) him posh and haughty 🙂 Oh yes : )

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ahhh i now want to see it right now! And i can’t for at least weeks due to travel amd all hell going on round here. Well he was a very posh and haughty Ripper! It was outrageous that they made him look really good in the tightest trousers possible only for him to be this horrifying monster. Not for the feint hearted the way he kills his half aunt after he gives her a handj. Erm cough better not to mention that cough but it was very realistic.

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