In rehearsal: Richard II

Published July 10, 2015

It may well be cricket season – and an Ashes summer at that – but you don’t often see the willow wafted at Shakespeare’s Globe. There’d be too much danger of a stray groundling unexpectedly catching the ball with their nose. And we all know how Globegoers react to the sight of blood.

Yet here’s photographic evidence (almost – at a second glance, that’s not a cricket bat, but we’re going with it anyway) of Richard II leading man Charles Edwards, Downton Abbey’s disappearing Michael Gregson, casually carrying his cricket back across his shoulders as though, well, if you know Richard II you’ll know full well what it’s like. If you don’t know Richard II, it doesn’t take too much imagination to dig out the imagery.

Shakespeare’s history play delves into the life of a king consumed by his divine right to lead – I’m giving away that imagery, aren’t I? – whose decisions about punishments and taxations cause those who should support him to reconsider their position.

Photographer Johan Persson snapped the cast, which also includes The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time co-stars Graham Butler and Sarah Woodward, as they prepared to take to the Globe stage, which they will do tomorrow for the first time.

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