Richard II, part 1

Richard II
Dramatis Personae | Part 1  | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 Part 5
Part 6 Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10

Let's get this show on the road! Hold on to your metaphorical hats! Everybody on board the Plantagenet train! Woo! Woo! If you missed my cast listing of Richard II, you can check it out here. Now.... charge!


Still awake? Good, because the play hasn't actually started yet. That was just what happened before the play starts, only everyone keeps referring to it during the play, so you kind of need to know it. Onward!


Time for a quiz!

Q1: Richard is...

A. King
B. Queen
C. Prime Minister
D. A lizard

Q2: Henry (aka Bolingbroke) is...

A. Richard's cousin
B. Richard's son
C. Richard's brother
D. Richard's aunt

Q3: St. Lambert's Day is...

A. September 17
B. October 25
C. February 14
D. Something Shakespeare made up

If you answered "A" to all of them, congratulations! You pass. If you missed the last one, that's OK too. I don't have the Calendar of Saints memorized either. I had to look St. Lambert up on Wikipedia.


That's all for today! Join me again on Monday for Act 1, scenes 3 and 4, in which Henry Bolingbroke and Thomas Mowbray almost fight a really exciting duel to the death, and then Richard's new favorites gossip cattily among themselves.

Richard II
Dramatis Personae | Part 1  | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 Part 5
Part 6 Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10


First of all, thanks to all my new Twitter followers for... following me on Twitter! I drew a special Thursday fun-time bonus comic just for you.


So, I left a couple fun characters off of yesterday's Richard II cast list, namely the Queen's long-suffering ladies-in-waiting. They are only in one scene, but they try so hard to cheer up the Queen that I thought I ought to honor their efforts here. I've also retroactively added them to the cast list. Rock on, ladies-in-waiting. Rock on.

Richard II: Dramatis Personae

Richard II
Dramatis Personae | Part 1  | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 Part 5
Part 6 Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10

Richard II in one sentence: A king called Richard II makes everyone angry when he starts raising taxes and seizing other people's lands, so they depose him and put his cousin Henry on the throne instead. 


The challenge: to present Shakespeare's history plays in a way that makes them comprehensible to those who, unlike myself, haven't spent the last ten years memorizing Plantagenet family trees for fun, but have instead been productive and useful members of society. It's not easy, but hopefully this makes Richard II slightly more accessible. 

...oh who am I kidding? It's still totally incomprehensible, isn't it? Stick with me! It's a fantastic play, and I promise you it's worth it! Look for more Richard II cartoons in the near future, partly because it is rapidly becoming one of my favorite plays, and partly because cinemas around the world are still intermittently screening the RSC's recent production of Richard II, starring David Tennant, and you should go see it.

Richard II
Dramatis Personae | Part 1  | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 Part 5
Part 6 Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10

Presto Tagliare La Gola


I can't possibly be the first person to come up with this blindingly obvious mash-up of the theatre world's two most famous barbers. Drop me a comment if you know of another good example. Because only good can come of this.

Eminently Quotable Edgar


A friend of mine was just cast as Edgar in a local production of King Lear, a prospect I find both exciting (because Edgar is an awesome role) and alarming (because, if you're Edgar, you have to spent most of the evening capering about half-naked and covered in mud, muttering some of the most ludicrous gibberish). So... good luck with that, buddy! 

Hamlet: Dramatis Personae


I put this together ahead of a planned project to render the entirety of Hamlet  (or at least an extremely distilled entirety) in stick-figure form. It's a handy-dandy reference guide to all the characters in Hamlet , including the ones nobody remembers. Nobody ever remembers Voltemand and Cornelius. Cornelius doesn't even have a line of his own - he just says "In that and all things will we show our duty" along with Voletmand. Voltemand has all the longer solo bits about Norway. Poor Cornelius.