Update June 2nd 2013: When I originally posted The Pillowman photo a couple of months ago, I had no idea one of David Tennant’s co-stars in that production would be his Bolingroke in the upcoming Richard II, directed by Greg Doran, for the Royal Shakespeare Company. It has been announced that Nigel Lindsay will play the role, an excellent choice and an interesting dynamic, I ‘d like to think, based on their previous working partnership. Additionally, two other members of the cast have been announced, Oliver Ford Davies as Duke of York and Michael Pennington as John of Gaunt. Richard II starts performances in Stratford-upon-Avon on October 10th with a transfer to London on December 9th. It will broadcast to cinemas in the UK and around the world on November 13th. End of update, continue to the original post below.
It’s an undeniable fact of online life that you often start looking for one thing only to be disappointed and stumble upon something different (not a metaphor for real life by the way). I started looking for a photograph from the 2000 Royal Court production of Conor McPherson’s Dublin Carol, and none of the results – bad quality grainy prints – matched my expectations. And then I found the site of photographer Pete Jones and although Dublin Carol was nowhere to be seen, I got excited about the quality of the photographs. Specifically this photo of David Tennant from Martin McDonagh’s The Pillowman (National Theatre, 2003) – unintentionally keeping within the Irish playwrights theme.
That production of the Pillowman ranks very high on the list of productions I deeply regret not to have seen (this and Simon Russell Beale’s Hamlet compete for the top slot), and although I had seen the photo before, this version presents it in all its glory (that could read “gory” and be equally true). There are productions and photographs with more blood but this is especially disturbing as it is combined with a headshot and the opportunity to absorb the implications.
The site has a number of beautiful evocative theatre photographs, not least Tom Hollander at The Hotel in Amsterdam and Helen Mirren at Mourning Becomes Electra.