Monday, 8 February 2010

Ian Richardson - 7 April, 1934 - 9 February, 2007

photo (c) Sam Farr/Bath Chronicle

It is three years today since Ian's sudden passing. He is greatly missed by all those who came to know and appreciate him as a truly great, consumate and inventive actor and a warm, humorous and generous-hearted man.

Many of his great performances can still be watched and he will remain in our hearts and memories.


  1. Thank you, Sharon, for this reminder of the life and work of one of our truly great actors and a man of enormous warmth, charm and generosity.

    We are indebted to you for keeping the flame of his memory burning bright, through this blog and both through your excellent book, We Could Possibly Comment, that contains so many vivid pen-portraits of Ian from those who knew him, worked with him and loved him.

    Any admirer of Ian Richardson who hasn't read your book has missed out on the a truly delightful gem.

    Thanks again! :)

  2. No, thank you Brian (the cheque is in the post)!

    In all seriousness, there is still a lot of recorded material out there and Ian's performances can still be seen at times on television or radio - the latest being yesterday's radio play, 'Evelyn' and last night's showing of the film 'From Hell', which starred Johnny Depp.

    On of these days I'll get round to writing a blog on what can be obtained and where.

  3. Doesn't Shirley Jacobs have an up-to-date list on her site? She's been compiling stuff about IR for years and years.

    Btw, I was surprised not to see a contribution by her in the book.

  4. And you'll note that the book isn't mentioned on her site. I did invite Shirley to contribute, but there was an issue over copyright on the material.

    The book does list Ian's performances -what I intend to do, on behalf of anyone who is interested, is try and compile lists of what can still be obtained and from where.

    Alas, it's a great shame that Acorn here in the UK aren't interested in producing a copy of Six Centuries of Verse and that we'll probably have to obtain it from Canada.

  5. Thank you, Sharon, for this reminder. I would be very interested in knowing more about "Six Centuries of Verse." I have just returned to Poland from the UK, where I tried vainly to find some trace of it. Am I correct in thinking that IR's readings from "Paradise Lost" are included? I loved the reading of "Dover Beach" for which you supplied a youtube link earlier. Could you give me a little more information about these recordings and their origin?
    With good wishes, Liz

  6. Hi Liz

    I hope you are well.

    Yes indeed, Ian's readings from Paradise Lost are included. And indeed he participated in six parts of the series.

    I know that several of them are on YouTube - just not sure if they all are. It might be best to do a search there under 'Ian Richardson, Six Centuries'.

    The series dates back from 1984 and is an absolute joy to listen to. I think I've got most of Ian's performances on video (supplied by two kind friends) - but unfortunately, I don't have a working video recorder at the moment.

    The DVD is due to be released on 27 April and it seems to be available from several sellers across the Pond, but in Europe as yet. Hopefully some of the Amazon Marketplace sellers might bring it over here and there's always Ebay.

  7. Thank you, Sharon, for bringing me up to date. I shall be on the look-out at the end of April (although by then this long Polish winter may possibly have ended and we will have put the DVDs away for next winter).

    Incidentally, you may remember that I mentioned that I had only ("only" is not quite the right word, as I regard it as a privilege) seen Ian Richardson on stage with the RSC. Well, I have now, along with my family, watched the "House of Cards" trilogy on DVD. It was definitely none the worse for the wait! Some parts had a distinctly "Coriolanus" ring and took me right back to late 1960s Stratford.

  8. That seems to suggest that you have an outdoor life from spring onwards in Poland.

    Yes, House of Cards is still regularly in the Amazon UK DVD charts and wil, I'm certain continue to stand the test of time.

    As for Coriolanus, I seem to remember photos of Ian with plasters on his knees for that and know he did suffer one or two injuries in it. What do you remember of the play?

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