‘Music do I hear?’

21st October 2013

Unsurprisingly perhaps, I have been posting a lot recently about Richard II.  As a consequence of that, today’s weekly post is rather shorter than usual. I should perhaps say that we had an excellent time at the opening night on Thursday (my reactions to the production are here, and go here for press reviews and other responses). The RSC has posted a selection of pictures from the party online, one of which I have featured above. There is, of course, a new Production Diary today, the eight, with the production’s composer Paul Englishby and RSC head of music Bruce O’Neil. This was shot when Paul and Bruce were recording the show’s music for release, along with a selection of speeches, as a download and on CD.

Otherwise, we head into the final three-plus weeks before the Live from Stratford-upon-Avon broadcast with a full schedule ahead and a lot of work to do. The first camera rehearsal is a fortnight today, and now that we have seen the show on stage our screen director Robin Lough is hard at work on a camera script. That is, he is working out which camera each line of dialogue and each move will be covered by, so that there is likely to be some 900 individual shots across the two hour forty minute broadcast. We will try out this script at the first rehearsal, watch the results on a big screen, and then refine that before a second camera rehearsal on the day before the broadcast.

Then there is also the admin necessary for a broadcast like this: schedules, call sheets, risk assessments, insurance documents. These are not the stuff of compelling blog posts, so over the next ten days or so I will be visiting other subjects and also, I hope, looking a little more at earlier productions of Richard II both on the stage and on screen.


  1. Kathrin Franke says:

    Hmm… I’m not so sure, John. I, for one, would find it highly interesting to read about all the process of camera rehearsals and all the issues relating to the broadcast (especially, of course, from the actors’ point of view. As in: how different is it to play if you know there’s a camera around? Do they move differently? Ad all that.). But I guess that in general people wouldn’t be too keen on reading it. Can’t wait for the broadcast after having seen the show twice in previews.

  2. John Wyver says:

    Thanks, Kathrin – don’t worry, I’m going to blog the rehearsal process and the technical stuff. It’s just risk assessments and insurance discussions that I thought I would spare readers.

  3. Stella McLarin says:

    I have to confess to spending some time, when I probably should have been concentrating on the dialogue, on thinking about which angles you might use for some scenes, and how that fabulous set would look when screened. I can recommend A45 Upper Circle for the dungeon scene at the end and also when Richard was walking his fingers round British soil again, after a foray in Ireland. In fact I found it an excellent vantage point for all of the play. I went on 11th October.
    I hope you are dosing all the cast with Vitamin C and echinacea so they are fit and well for that important day. I will see the product of your efforts in one of the encore screenings in early December. Good luck!

    • John Wyver says:

      Thanks, Stella – we’re going to do our best to make it look great on the screen – and we’re keeping our fingers crossed for the continued wellbeing of each and every one of the cast! Enjoy the encore.

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