When Martin "The Hobbit" Freeman signed on for Richard III I was at least a little bit excited, even though unlike half the world I've not yet watched every episode of Sherlock (starring another modern Shakespearean, Benedict Cumberbatch). Apparently, though, Mr. Baggins-Freeman thinks that Shakespeare is boring, and that there's a "conspiracy of silence" among the well-educated to just sit through those bits without saying anything:
The Hobbit star said the Bard’s plays can be tedious and hit out at the ‘conspiracy of silence’ that makes it difficult for people to criticise them.
‘Very educated, very smart, very theatre-literate people’ tolerate the ‘boring passages’ without saying anything, he said.
Speaking to The Andrew Marr Show he said he was ‘hellbent’ on bringing in a younger audience to see his new production of Richard III – which has updated the tale of court intrigue into an ‘imaginary dystopia’ – and thinks chopping out sections will help with that.
|(image via TolkienGateway)|
What ultimately kills me is the last line of the article, that tells us this is Mr. Freeman's first professional Shakespeare role. Move over Orson Welles, step aside Laurence Olivier and Kenneth Branagh, you've been doing it wrong and Martin Freeman is here to set you straight.