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BWW Feature: MASH NOTE TO SHAKESPEARE HISTORIES at Richmond Shakespeare

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BWW Feature: MASH NOTE TO SHAKESPEARE HISTORIES at Richmond Shakespeare

The names echo through my memory: Stephen Ryan. Cynde Liffick. Jack Parrish. Jennie Meharg. James Ricks. David Bridgewater. Andrew Hamm. Jacquie O'Connor. Joe Carlson. James Alexander Bond.

These actors and directors (and many more) brought to life Grant Mudge's project for Richmond Shakespeare: producing all Shakespeare's history plays over the course of five years.

This is not something I would have signed up for on my own--I enjoy Shakespeare, I can get on board for "Richard III," but . . . all those Henrys? It sounded deadly dull. I had had an early brush with "Richard II" that sent me home at intermission, even though William Hurt was in the title role.

But Mudge served up this health food with the rollicking Richmond Shakespeare sensibility, focusing on language more than tech, amping up the action, wringing out every drop of comedy.

I'm not sure all the history plays got done--I can only find reviews for two Richards and three Henrys--but I learned a lot and enjoyed myself way more than I expected.

Bond and Ricks made lasting contributions to Richmond theater through these pieces, and we had some terrific performances. The British actor Philip Brown came in to play Henry three different times, providing a unique experience for audiences. Daryl Clark Philips was our Falstaff more than once.

It was a noble ambition for Richmond Shakespeare, and a great boon for Richmond. I'm guessing we shall not look upon its like again.


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From This Author Susan Haubenstock