Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Richard Briers and Shakespeare

Yesterday, sadly, Richard Briers passed away at the age of 79. To millions of British television viewers, he is inextricably linked to his character Tom Good, in The Good Life.

However, Briers' career was bookended with Shakespeare: beginning as a young Hamlet in rep theatre, who's frenetic delivery was remarked upon by critics; and, in his later years, collaborating with Kenneth Branagh's Renaissance Theatre and Renaissance Films, which would bring Richard Briers to an entirely new generation of film and theatre-goers. We would see him get to grips with vastly different characters, from Malvolio to King Lear and Bardolph (among others).

Here are just a few photographs and screenshots of Richard Briers' brilliant work as some of Shakespeare's greatest characters:

Briers as Hamlet -Duthy Hall, London, 1956
Richard Briers as Malvolio in Renaissance Theatre's production of Twelfth Night, 1987
As the recently hanged Bardolph in Henry V, 1989
He went back to the stage in 1990 with Renaissance Theatre's King Lear

Richard Briers as Leonato in Renaissance Film's Much Ado About Nothing, 1993

Opposite Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet, Briers played Polonius in Renaissance Film's Hamlet, 1996
In 2002,  Briers played Prospero in The Tempest
Richard Briers (Adam) and David Oyelowo (Orlando) in Renaissance Film's As You Like It, 2006

The veteran actor succumbed to emphysema on 17th February, 2013, dying at his home in London. Taken from us too soon, Briers' talent will, thankfully, live on in his work for both television and film.

Sir Kenneth Branagh said of Briers, "He was a national treasure, a great actor and a wonderful man."

No comments:

Post a Comment