The Hollow Crown


Premiership Player
Oct 7, 2001
AFL Club
Other Teams
Well, I saw "The Hollow Crown" yesterday and it was nothing short of superb. No props, no costumes, no sound effects and a minimum of lighting tricks. Here were four legends of the British stage (Ian Richardson, Donald Sinden, Diana Rigg and Derek Jacobi) taking us to times, places and people with absolute ease, just through the use of their voices and mannerisms. What may have seemed, on the written page to be be some rather dry material, was transformed into a lively, fascinating, funny and dramatic narrative.

And with that added, magical ingredient - sheer class.

A combined experience of around 200 years of the highest school of acting, the pure quality of these performers was a joy to behold. There were many moments when I closed my eyes and just enjoyed the beauty of the spoken word and when it is delivered by performers of this calibre it is truly remarkable.

There was one sublime moment - Sir Ian Richardson was introducing a piece - "And now a letter from George the Third.." (and at this second the dreaded ring of a mobile phone wailed from the audience) "...who I can ASSURE YOU, DID NOT OWN A MOBILE PHONE!" This received a standing ovation not only from the audience but from his fellow thesps on the stage. A classic moment!

I must tell you too that in her 64th year, Diana Rigg is still breathtakingly beautiful. Wow!.

It was also lovely to see Her Majesty's Theatre restored to its former glory. Never melbourne's most ornate theatre, its current look is in line with the 1929 refurbishment after the fire of that year (which had destroyed most of its Victorian trappings, it was built in 1885). As such it has a very cool early art-deco look, which is very pleasant on the eye. Great to see the old girl back to her best after years of decay.

So, all in all, topped with a delicious Thai meal, it was a perfect day.

I believe the play has left Melbourne en route to other states. If you are a fan of live theatre, I cannot reccommend "The Hollow Crown" highly enough. If it makes its way to your city, it is well worth a look, for I assure you that actors of this quality will probably not be seen together here again.

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