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.
ETA Late addition rescue from the comments: