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Cumberbatch to play Richard III or the case of my little green-eyed monster

Shakespeare's First Folio Edition To Be Sold

As I try to keep my grubby fingers on multiple fandom pulses, a while back I came across this interesting piece of news:

Benedict Cumberbatch is set to play Richard III in the second series of Shakespeare’s History for BBC2.

Ordinarily, one could skim over this little morsel if it wasn’t for the fact that playing the role of Little Richie Plantagenet, Yo! it’s York in the House,  has been a dream of Armitage for some time, a goal he has mentioned in countless interviews throughout the years and I am too lazy to link to a single one of them, so you are welcome.

It got me thinking about what it must be like to mold your career at a time when another British actor, especially one younger than you, seems to be thriving, even making it onto Time 100 Most Influential People list.

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love the direction in which Richard’s career is heading (seriously, chuffed as chips or rather Chops!) and I like the fact that being an Armitage Admirer Well-wisher still feels like a member of an exclusive club with a well-kept secret of exquisite taste in men, but when you’re vying for the same parts, heading to the same auditions as the likes of Cumberbatch or Hiddleston, when you stand back and watch their notoriety soar, does it smarm a bit?

To what extent do you compare yourself and your opportunities, casting options, accomplishments to others?

Although I would really dislike the notion that RA is pushing for a glitzy Hollywood career and therefore abandoning projects that made me fall for him in the first place, I can’t help but wonder if he ever questions why them and not him.

Some projects that we felt would be perfect for Richard but went to another actor are easier to swallow, like casting Aidan Turner in Poldark, with others having another actor portray Matthew Clairmont in A Discovery of Witches would be much harder to accept (seriously, have you read it? Matthew is perfect for Armitage), but having Cumberbatch play Richard III feels…personal…

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Don’t get me wrong, Cumberbatch is huge right now and it makes sense that if the producers would jump at the chance to cash in on that.

I have little doubt he will do a superb job and I will certainly be amongst the swarm of people who know that anything Ben is in is definitely worth checking out as the man does not disappoint.

Then there are those arguments that maybe RA is just a little long in the tooth to play the king who died at 32, that this particular ship may well have sailed.

But a part of me, the one that is blinded by the sense of my very own distorted need for justice, the fan who wants Armitage to make him dreams come true, is disappointed and my little naughty fangirling green-eyed monster is having a field day.

To ease my discomfort, here’s a brilliant manip from Fan-Art from KingRichardArmitage:

RichardIIIa

An image of what could have been and, hopefully may still be, after all Frodo did take the ring to Mount Doom against all odds, right?

Oh, and just so you know- had you chosen me Queen of the World like I have requested repeatedly, not only would you have Fridays off from work, but I’d also give Armitage the right of dibs on every single Richard III project.

In other words, if you liked it then you should have put a crown on it…

Armitage Day Competition starts TOMORROW!

As many of you may remember, Thursday is Armitage Day, the day when RA fans celebrate the event when the world got that little bit better 🙂

Last year I celebrated Armitage Day with a 7 day competition counting down to the event.

On Armitage Day I literally had to put myself in time out because I just went a bit… crazy, but I digress.

As I’ve been tanning my carcass by the Polish seaside in the run-up to the blessed event, and I DID promise you a little something something commemorating Richard turning 42, I’ve decided to switch my annual RA competition to coincide with King Richard Week.

Oh, and did I mention we’re doing it Vegas style?

Richard III isn’t the only king Richard could play 😉

King Richard 2013

Here’s how we play:

Starting Thursday, 12pm GMT, you ( yes, YOU!) will have the chance to get your hands on a one-of-a-kind Richard Armitage related goodie each and every day for the next 7 days.

Horrid as I am, and in keeping with tradition, I’m not going to tell you what the goodies are, they will be revealed to you each day.

Let’s just say they won’t be the same as last year, and I’m no Oprah, so don’t expect me to give away cars…

At 12pm GMT on each of the 7 days I will post and the item up for grabs will be revealed.

These are all one-of-a-kind, so there won’t be any exchanges for other items, and No, you can’t get cash instead ;)

I will ask a question connected with who the hell knows what.

You leave your answers in the comments section, remembering to sign in with a valid email address and/or twitter account.

At exactly 12pm GMT the next day, as another post is out, I close comments, write all the names from comments on pieces of paper, throw them in a box, and my lucky hand will draw ONE name from the box.

This is the winner of the day!

King Richard neon

You may ask why you have to answer the question asked in the post if all the names go into the box.

Well, let’s just say I want you to sing for your supper :)

Plus, I love to read your comments!

I will be contacting the lucky winners, so make sure I have the means to do that!

If by the 28th I can’t get in touch with someone, I will pull out another name from the list from that day.

You are more than welcome to enter your name on multiple days, although the winner will be eliminated from the other draws.

I hope to see you all here tomorrow, 12pm GMT!

Good Luck!

KRW chips

Richard III for Dummies Part 2 as in Oh Heck! It’s The War of the Roses

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m on a quest to learn more about King Richard III.

I hope it will help with the collective reading of Sharon Kay Penman’s The Sunne in Splendour.

Just to clarify, the reading starts on the 23rd of September, with the discussion of chapters 1+5 a week later!

I know some of you, like me, will start earlier, just in case life and other nonsense get in the way!

I’ll be the first to admit I don’t really know anything about RIII, but what I do learn, I will share in a cycle of posts titled:

Richard III for Dummies.

I see it as a collection of random RIII facts that I found interesting.

I won’t be going into great details, just the bare essentials necessary to understand the book chosen for our collective reading.

It’s time to tackle The War of the Roses!

It was a terribly destructive, long-lasting civil war in England between two  families with rival claims to the throne.

The war takes its name from the two Roses that symbolized the two sides meaning, the houses of Lancaster (red rose) and York (white rose), among the English aristocracy.

Those English and their gardening…

I’m not going to go into detail, but let’s just say both sides had a legitimate claim to the throne.

The clip is extremely interesting, definitely more than my writing 😉

Just look at  it as a very long boxing match.

The war itself occurred in three phases:

The first phase was the longest and bloodiest, and resulted in a York victory.

The second phase involved a rebellion within the York family which provided an opportunity  for the Lancaster’s to reassert their claim.

They briefly succeeded, but the crown soon fell back into the hands of the Yorks.

The third phase occurred following the death of the Yorkish King Edward IV,  and was fought between Richard III and Henry Tudor a distant cousin on the Lancaster side.

 It’s not an easy war to follow in terms of alliances, or military progress.

There are so many twists, treachery, changing sides and battles, so I shall focus on the elements that appear in The Sunne in Splendour.

By the way, I started reading the book yesterday and I couldn’t put it down.

I thought the vocabulary wasn’t bad at all, and with the help of my trusted Kindle 3 dictionary, I didn’t come across any phrases that would prove to be challenging.

Here’s are the key elements of what I’ve read.

Please be warned, there may be spoilers if you haven’t started the book yet!

We meet Richard (nicknamed Dickon, because that’s such an adorable name for a young boy…) on the eve of the attack on Ludlow village and its Castle, a major base in The War of the Roses.

In the first chapter we are introduced to some members of Richard’s family:

Ma Mere meaning Richard’s mother, Cecily Neville, Duchess of York, wife to  Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York.

Richard’s brother Edward (Ned), 4th Duke of York, 7th Earl of March, 5th Earl of Cambridge and 9th Earl of Ulster.

He goes on to become Edward IV.

Edmund, Earl of Rutland, second surviving son of Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York.

George, only a few years older than Richard,  1st Duke of Clarence, 1st Earl of Salisbury, 1st Earl of Warwick.

I think it’s best to keep an eye out on George, as he’ll be playing a very important role later on.

The Queen Margaret of Anjou continues to raise support for the King Henry VI among noblemen,whilst the Yorkist command under the Duke of York is finding anti-royal support despite the severe punishment for raising arms against the King.

The Yorkist force based at Middleham Castle in Yorkshire need to link up with the main Yorkist army at Ludlow Castle in Shropshire.

As Salisbury marches south-west through the Midlands the Queen orders Lord Audley to raise a force to intercept them.

This results in a bloody battle, but also signified that the Queen is set on war.

Fearing that an attack on Ludlow is imminent, all the male members of the York House escape, leaving behind Cecily and her two youngest sons George and Richard.

The assumption is that no harm will come to them, as the code of conduct forbids involving women and children in fights.

Ah, but will it?

You’ll have to start reading the book to find out 🙂

I found the character of Margaret of Anjou fascinating, but then I would!

I found this clip very interesting clip:

 

Richard III for Dummies Part 1 meaning a quick introduction

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m on a quest to learn more about King Richard III.

I hope it will help with the collective reading of Sharon Kay Penman’s The Sunne in Splendour.

I’ll be the first to admit I don’t really know anything about Richard III, but what I do learn, I will share in a cycle of posts titled:

Richard III for Dummies.

I see it as a collection of random RIII facts that I found interesting.

I won’t be going into great details, just the bare essentials (according to me!).

Visuals really work for me.

They are an endless source of inspiration, and there’s nothing like an image to spark my interest.

Sorry, but this does nothing for me:

I’ve never been a fan of a man with blingbling, and the hair’s just daft!

This illustration by Martin Rowson/Guardian is a whole other story:

The hair is still daft, but from what I gather, maybe this Richard III character will offer something interesting.

Here is a quick look at the more interesting facts about Richard III, served tongue in cheek, AgzyM style 😉

Time:

1483-1485

Nope, that doesn’t mean anything to me either, so here’s a visual:

Doesn’t British History look better when there’s a Tudor around?

Well, unless you happen to be Henry’s wife…

Why should I bother with Richard III?

Richard Armitage likes him, and so should you!

OK, only joking… kinda…

Richard III seems to have a murderous streak in him, as he’s implicated in the deaths of Henry VI, his brother George (who allegedly drowned in a vat of wine after a stint at the Tower of London)  and the disappearance of his young nephews – the Princes in the Tower.

I simply love a bloody monarch 🙂

Sorry, I forgot to add allegedly bloody…

He’s rumoured to have had a withered arm, crooked back and a limp, although many believe this to be a fabrication.

One thing’s for sure- he wasn’t a fan of facelift and Botox!

Also, the man clearly loved his jewels, so he may be the original Royal Pimp Daddy 😉

Richard is credited with introducing the bail system in 1484, perhaps to give himself a get out of jail free card if things got out of hand with Henry Tudor.

This may be linked to Monopoly’s Get Out of Jail Free Card, although the evidence is inconclusive 😉

By the way, Richard III described Henry Tudor as ‘an unknown Welshman’, which is a bit embarrassing seeing how things worked out…

Richard was the last king to die in battle, meaning the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485, which is a bit unlucky!

Apparently every English King called “Richard” has died violently, which is a good reason to name your son and heir Bob or Rupert.

King Richard’s violent death may be why Armitage would like to play him…

 His death at the Battle of Bosworth effectively ended the Wars of the Roses (not a battle between gardeners!), so it’s not all bad news.

Richard was the last king of the Plantagenet family, who had ruled over England for more than three hundred years, so more bad news.

Talk about not living up to your family’s expectations!

Richard’s defeat at Bosworth Field by Henry Tudor ended the Plantagenet dynasty (bummer!), but it also heralded the Tudor dynasty, so some more good news, as I actually know a thing or two about the Tudors.

Have I mentioned how much I like the Tudors?

No? Well, I do!

 William Shakespeare wrote a play titled ‘Richard III’.

You may think that’d it is cool for the most famous playwriter to write about you, but not so.

He was portrayed as a murdered and deformed hunchback who murders his nephews, as Shakespeare was writing at a time when the granddaughter to Henry VII was queen (Elizabeth I).

It was therefore within Shakespeare’s interests to portray Richard in a bad light.

That Shakespeare was such a suck-up!

Shakespeare wasn’t the only famous author to weigh in on the topic od Richard III.

Jane Austin in her History of England wrote:

The character of this prince has been in general very severely treated by historians, but as he was York, I am rather inclined to  suppose him a very respectable man.

My thoughts exactly on Mr Darcy…

Nude pictures of him cupping his family jewels at a party in Las Vegas have spread across the internet.

OK, that may have been Prince Harry…

At this point I must also urge you to get started on Sharon Kay Penman’s The Sunne in Splendour.

Here are a few facts I found online about the book:

The Sunne in Splendour, which is a historical novel, chronicles the life of Richard III.

The story begins in 1459 with Richard as a young boy, and ends in 1485 with his defeat at the Battle of Bosworth Field.

It’s separated into three parts.

The title of the novel, according to Vulpes Libris, is taken from the emblem of Edward IV after the natural phenomenon of a parhelion (an atmospheric phenomenon that creates bright spots of light in the sky, often on a luminous ring or halo on either side of the sun) in which ice crystals in the air give the optical illusion of 3 suns.

When the 400-page manuscript was stolen from her car, Penman found herself unable to write for the next five years.

She eventually rewrote the book and by the time the 936 page book was published in 1982 she had spent 12 years writing it.

For more info, I urge you to check out what Maria Grazia has to say about the book.

By the way, I’ll be back tomorrow with a riveting (don’t hold your breath…) post on the War of the Roses, dummy style!

I’m off to read the book 😉

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