RA Pocket Shrine 158/? – Macduff

Instead of a round-up, I have got a RAPS post for you. (The last round-up posted on Thursday did not leave that much time for new material to appear, so I am forgoing it until next Saturday. We apologise for any inconvenience caused 😉.) Those of you on Twitter have already seen the darling little tin. I came across it on Friday while browsing through the National Gallery shop – and could not resist. Macduff or Richard III, that was the question, though. And the title of the post already tells you which way I went. After all, RIII is just  a fantasy project of our man, yet Macduff is a role he has played – and I had not yet enshrined the avenging assassin.

Before I launch into the RAPS presentation, I would like to recommend those of you who haven’t seen Shakespeare Retold: Macbeth yet, to watch the BBC production (2005). I recently rewatched it and thought it was still as good as at first viewing. This adaptation places Macbeth in the present. Macbeth (James McAvoy) is the sous chef of Irish head chef and restaurant owner Duncan who has just received a Michelin star. Together with his wife (Keeley Hawes) who is also the maitre d’ of the restaurant, Macbeth decides to kill Duncan – with further lethal consequences.  The prophecy of the three bin men (!) is fulfilled by the head waiter of the restaurant, Peter Macduff (Armitage). The adaptation is full of suspense, despite the well-known play it is based on, and the modern setting works really well, I think. You can watch the play on YT.

Now on to the RAPS. It’s one of those nicely decorated 1.5″ x 1.5″ tins. The cover cried out for RIII (“My kingdom for a horse”), but as I said above, Peter Macduff deserved a shrine of his own more.

If you have seen the adaptation, you will know that there is not that much RA in the show, despite the pivotal role. The show does not use the original Shakespeare text, but I am quoting from it, and I can prove it.

Here we have Macduff in conversation with the future owner of the shrine. (The backdrop of my shot is a 1899 edition of The Temple Shakespeare.) So, instead of speaking, Macduff has something to show…

Can you decipher it? I know, it is tiny. Blame that antiquated mobile phone – 2005. Way before smartphones!

So poor Macduff, who has lost wife and daughters in the piece, is getting a bit of happiness from me. He deserves it. As does RA when it comes to praising his participation in this project. The scene where Macduff hears of his wife’s and daughters’ death, is really well done and very evocative. It’s in the tone of his voice, grief-stricken, husky, croaky, and in the little noises, not to mention the initial reaction upon being given the news, when Macduff’s legs buckle under him, and he gauges the scale of what has happened. Goosepimples! And all the more reason why I would love to see what Armitage can do now, 13 years on, on a stage, in a play, possibly even one by the bard… Fingers crossed that we may hear of new projects, soon.

The shrine is not for me, it needs a new home. Fans of Shakespeare and of Armitage may like this little piece of fan art. Leave me a comment below, and I will choose someone to send it to. 

If you still have any weekend left – enjoy it. If not, have a good new week.

Guylty ❤

ETA Late addition rescue from the comments:


50 thoughts on “RA Pocket Shrine 158/? – Macduff

  1. Lovely little work of art. I can’t see what the phone says, but it must be something provocative, sweet, funny or naughty. Or a mixture of everything.

    Ode to the Scottish Play

    It isn’t hard,
    To like the bard.
    In fact it’s never tough.
    But it is easy-peasy,
    When Richard plays Macduff.

    Kathy Jones

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I’ve always liked that particular Macbeth version and his Macduff too! Superficially smaller role perfectly played – and shrined, as usual! 😘
    Kathy, if you weren’t yet chosen by someone else I’d herewith declare you to be the Armitage’s poet laureate! I love your Armi-odes!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s a great example of making Shakespeare accessible by transplanting it completely into the present. Macduff was such a pivotal player, and even though he is not particularly in focus in this iteration of Macbeth, he still is a major role. And well acted by RA.
      Kathy is definitely the lyric queen of the fandom!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Aww! I love this little gem of a shrine.💎 Is this really your first Macduff? I long to see RA do Shakespeare on stage someday. (Or any theatre if I’m honest)

    Liked by 1 person

    • It only occurred to me when I got my hands on that little ShakeSpearmint tin, but yes, I had never done Macduff before. So there’s another chaRActer off the list. (I think I also need to do minor roles such as Philip Durant and Percy Courtenay.)
      I would love to see RA do Shakespeare, too. A big play such as Macbeth would probably do much for his career, but if I am really honest, I’d rather see him in a comedy… But at this stage, I’ll take anything that is put up on a stage. Anywhere.

      Liked by 1 person

      • “Anywhere” is right. You are my role model, Guylty. I suspect I will be getting on a plane for the next live theatre performance that isn’t in New York. Six years ago, when I started this nuttiness, I would have said “Are you crazy???” Hell, I didn’t even go to the NYC “Premiere” (a bunch of people standing in the street) of the first Hobbit movie in midtown Manhattan (less than an hour from me), because…it was a rainy night. My, my, how my standards have changed.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Hehe, there were others before me who made the trips and the effort. In my experience, it has always been worth it. Not only for seeing the man act, but for actually using the event as a springboard for exploring a place I would otherwise have not thought of going to. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that we will have the opportunity to fangirl communally at a stage door that is accessible to many!

          Liked by 1 person

  4. This is a really, really good RAPS, I love it and I think I could read what the phone screen says ;-)… I´d love to see him in that play, too, it´s an absolute favourite since we read, interpreted and wrote Klausuren about it in school and the tin is a cute reference…


    • Glad you like it, Andrea, and good eyesight, too 🤓! Yep, Macbeth accompanied many of us in school… (I actually had to do ‘The Merchant of Venice’ for my English class. I would’ve preferred Macbeth…)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. [not an entry] I remember when I first learned about this — back in 2010 and I was *so* excited because Macduff is an important supporting role in the play; he introduces the argument about the legitimacy of certain kinds of monarchy. Well, then I saw it. I thought it was a great adaptation but NOT ENOUGH RA!! However, I think it was the scene you refer to that started Khandy down the road to her fanfics (or so she said in interview several years ago).


    • Yep, this was also one of the pieces that I saw relatively late in my fandom journey, and it was a really pleasant surprise. I love modern adaptations of Shakespeare (on any other ‘over-done’ material), and this one really hit the spot in every way. Of course there was a certain amount of disappointment that RA was only a ‘supporting character’, but the role itself is absolutely pivotal to the play, so that really appeased me. And I thought it was great that he had been cast in something that was somewhat off-the-wall, whacky, almost avantgarde.
      That scene is just really special, because he does something that is sort of unexpected when his legs give and he sits on the floor. I do wonder whether that was a direction or his own interpretation of Macduff’s reaction to the news. I can totally see why Khandy felt compelled by it to start writing fan fiction.


    • Disclosure: I have to admit that the second speech bubble does not come from the play, only the first one. But yes, I wouldn’t mind seeing RA in Shakespeare, too. Not my favourite playwright as such, but it would be great for him to play a meaty role in such a play at this stage in his career.


  6. I have just finished strolling through you prior shrines, you have done such wonderful job capturing RA and his many rolls. I would be giddy at the prospect to receive another of you fine RAPS.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love the retold stories and my best friend still mentions them. We went to the Globe last Tuesday to see Twelfth Night not a favourite, so many empty seats we were surprised. We have been going for about 12 years and prices keep increasing so this maybe the result. We see Othello in September
    Love the shrine, fingers crossed. By the way did you see Frozen?


    • I’ve never been to the Globe, but it’s definitely on my list. The standing tickets seem to be pretty cheap. But it’s a shame if there is not enough demand for tickets.
      Frozen – damn, it has completely slipped my mind. No, haven’t seen it yet, but have to do that, soon!


  8. This was one of the first DVD’s i bought when I started my RA collection. Since it’s raining i shall view it again.Happy Mothers Day to you and all in the fandom.


  9. Good call Guylty!, Macbeth has always been one of my favourite Shakespeare’s since O levels, and I saw it on stage with Sir Ian Mckellen, Dame Judy Dench and the peerless Bob Peck as Macduff with the blokes in Army greatcoats and DJD in a grey nightie and scarf(showing my age now). Can’t tell you how many different adaptations I have seen since, but the Retold one is another of my favourite versions and this tribute is absolutely lovely! Think I would like to see RA in a traditional version of the Bard, with a ruff and tights 🙂


    • Hehehe, methinks the lady does have ulterior motives when wishing for tights… But otherwise I have to say that I quite like Macbeth as a play (misogyny aside). I saw a great version of it on stage in Dublin, and it was magical. Oh, but to see stalwarts of the stage such as McKellen and Dench performing it… Fabulous!


      • Showing my age here but our school saw the version with Francesa Annis playing Lady Macbeth naked at the Mermaid theatre London.
        I did the Scottish play for O level and it’s probably my favourite when you study it line by line it really sticks in your mind lol


  10. Pingback: RA Pocket Shrine 158/? – Diamonds Are Forever | Guylty Pleasure

  11. i luurve this one! and i really wish he would do some Shakespeare and give us all a proper opportunity for much shrining and swooning… I really have to buy the DVD of Shakespeare retold and watch it!


    • Simple but effective RAPS. The minis are always pared back, due to their miniscule size. But sometimes less is more, n’est-ce pas?
      Definitely re-watch the thing – I really enjoyed the re-visit!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Thanks for the link to yt. I have only seen snippets of his role in this movie. I know I am late to the party but this tiny box is really cute. Macduff is worth to have his own shrine.
    Btw I would like to make you compliments for your shrines. I have admired your shrine gallery. I hope your source of crafty inspiration will never run dry


    • You definitely should watch the whole thing, not just RA’s bits. It’s really well done, and James McAvoy is not to be sniffed at, either.
      Many thanks for your nice compliment re. shrine gallery. It astonishes me, too, that I have made so many of them. And it is delightful knowing that they have been distributed to all corners of the world…


  13. I was delighted to receive the Macduff pocket shrine, thank you very much.
    It arrived while I was on holiday with my daughter, my husband was intrigued by my package! I explained that Guylty was very talented at decorating small tins but I didn’t elaborate further.lol


    • Oh dear – I am always worried about that… I hereby give you (and any other recipient of a shrine from me) permission to blame it all on the mad fan from whom those crazy pieces of fan art originate 🙂


  14. Pingback: RA Pocket Shrine 165/? – Barkley’s | Guylty Pleasure

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