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Masquerading Early Modern Disability

Sexuality, Violence, and the Body (Politic) in Richard III

Lauren Coker

Building on Katherine Schaap Williams’s (2009) reading of the play, this article uses a disability studies approach to consider Richard Loncraine’s 1995 film adaptation of Shakespeare’s Richard III. Loncraine’s adaptation allows modern-day viewers to experience a highly visual (and often intimate) exchange with Sir Ian McKellen as Richard Gloucester. Specifically, Gloucester’s verbal claims of a disability that renders him unsuitable as a leader and a lack of sexual prowess are juxtaposed alongside sexually violent visual actions and imagery—particularly in the form of phallic symbols. The juxtaposition of verbal passivity in opposition to visual aggression demonstrates how Richard showcases or hides his disability as he pursues the throne: the first half of the film features Richard masquerading ability, while the second half features him masquerading disability.

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Othello, Original Practices

A Photographic Essay

Rob Conkie

moment recalls an anecdote related by Russell Jackson. One night Ian McKellen drops his matches during his spellbinding turn as Iago in Trevor Nunn’s much-praised 1989 RSC Othello . He then bends down and picks up every match, not just not breaking

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A World Elsewhere

Documentary Representations of Social Shakespeare

Susanne Greenhalgh

’, 91. 20 See, for example, The Hobart Shakespeareans (dir. Mel Stuart, 2005) in which Ian McKellen and Michael York visit schoolchildren performing Hamlet in class; and My Shakespeare (dir. Michael Waldman, 2004), which features Baz Luhrmann

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The Madness of King Charles III

Shakespeare and the Modern Monarchy

Richard Wilson

When Prince Charles upstaged the combined talents of Benedict Cumberbatch, Harriet Walter, David Tennant, Sir Ian McKellen and Dame Judi Dench at the climax of the 400th Shakespeare anniversary celebrations in the Stratford Memorial Theatre on