Thursday 21 April 2011

Talking about Ian and We Could Possibly Comment

This coming Monday, I will be speaking about Ian and the book, at Books in the West, an Independent bookshop, in West Kilbride, Ayrshire.

7.00 pm

Monday, 25th April

A Tribute to Ian Richardson

Ian Richardson, who passed away four years ago, was one of Britain’s top classical actors. Journalist and author Sharon Mail, who was a close friend of his, will be coming to Books in the West with her biography, We Could Possibly Comment, which gives an insight into Ian Richardson’s life through the tributes from more than fifty actors, directors, producers, writers and dear friends.

Here’s what the reviewers say:

"... a charming book" - S E G Hopkin,
Remembering a Classicist.

Spectator Magazine

"a multi-faceted view of one of the finest actors of our time... nor can I think of a more touching or suitable tribute to a great gentleman than this book"

Carol Ferguson, Banner Herald, Greenville Texas

"'John Sessions called this book 'a glorious and heart-warming tribute to a superb and much loved actor' I can certainly echo his praise. Highly Recommended."

Scene One Magazine

Speaking about Ian is always a pleasure, and when describing the process of bringing the book into being, I can do so in the confidence of knowing that it has been well received. Here's a review written last week by Ayrshire writer, Lesley Deschner:

"Recently I finished reading WCPC and I really felt as though I'd known Ian. Sharon has produced a well written acknowledgment of the man's achievements and his devotion to those he held dear. The book takes us through the events of his life and work with comments and interviews from many performers, writers and directors with whom Ian worked, giving a very whole picture of who Ian Richardson was.

Sharon's own memories add another level to this, indicating the warmth and welcome bestowed upon those who knew him. Greatly respected by his profession and sadly missed by fans and friends alike, Ian could not wish for a more apt tribute."

Sunday 6 March 2011

Follow this, Kevin!

It has finally been announced - Kevin Spacey is to take the lead role in the American version of House of Cards, which is being directed by David Fincher.

Regardless of Mr Spacey's acting skills, I can't imagine his performance matching Ian's majestic portrayal of Francis Urquhart - one of the finest performances in TV history.

If you want to see all three series, the box set is currently available from Amazon UK at a knockdown price of £9.93 (what a bargain) and for just a few pence more from As far as TV Drama collections go, every home should have a copy of this one.

Here's another taster.

Can Kevin match this peerless portrayal? I couldn't possibly comment!

Wednesday 9 February 2011

Ian Richardson 07 April 1934 - 09 February 2007

Today is the 4th anniversary of Ian's death. It's hard to believe that four years have passed since he left us.

With the passing of time, images fade, but we are so fortunate in that there are so many visual and audio opportunities to keep fresh in our minds what a wonderful actor Ian Richardson was.

The first main section of his career was his time, between 1960 and 1975, with the Royal Shakespeare Company. Although there is almost no visual material available from his host of performances with the Company, it is still possible to obtain DVD copies of him as Oberon (seen above, with Ian Holm as Puck) in Peter Hall's filmed version of A Midsummer Night's Dream and as Marat in Peter Brook's Marat/Sade.

There are a great many of Ian's television and film performances available on DVD from a variety of sources. I strongly recommend getting hold of programmes such as Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy; Private Schulz; The Woman in White (1982); Six Centuries of Verse; The Sign of Four: The Hound of the Baskervilles; Porterhouse Blue; Mountbatten: The Last Viceroy; The Gravy Train; Troubles; An Ungentlemanly Act; The House of Cards Trilogy; Gormenghast; Murder Rooms; Becoming Jane; Hogfather.

These are just a selection of the range of titles available.

And today we are blessed with sites such as YouTube, where you can find hidden gems otherwise not likely to be seen.

One of these is the Drama The Winslow Boy (1989) in which Ian played Sir Robert Morton. The link isn't available, but you can find the whole series on YouTube.

In the meantime, you can enjoy examples such as this: