Tag Archives: Ian McKellen

Richard Marquand – Edward II (1970)

Words from Ian McKellen
When Toby Robertson, artistic director of Prospect Theatre, decided to revive our Richard II, he thought to accompany it with his own production of Edward II, a play he had previously directed with Derek Jacobi and other Cambridge undergraduates in 1957. I recall he asked Alan Bates, who was busy elsewhere. I may even have suggested myself to play both kings. In 1969 it was still considered an outrageous play, after all, perhaps, the first drama ever written with a homosexual hero. Edward’s death with a red-hot poker thrust into his bowels had been discretely mimed behind a curtain when Harley Granville Barker played the eponymous role. We showed all, as it were, with the aid of a glowing torchlight and dim lighting. Read More »

Maggie Greenwald – The Ballad of Little Jo (1993)

Plot (from AMG):
The Ballad of Little Jo is based on a true story — several true stories, in fact. Suzy Amis plays demure young Josephine Monagan, who in 1866 is run out of her home town after bearing an illegitimate child. Fleeing westward, Josephine is terrified by stories of how treacherous the frontier can be for a woman alone. As a result, upon arriving in the muddy burg of Ruby City, she disguises herself as a man, going so far as to scar her face to suggest that she’s been in a few scrapes. In this guise, “Little Jo” does just fine by herself for nearly 30 years! Almost as good as Suzy Amis is Bo Hopkins as gunslinger Frank Badger, Little Jo’s best buddy (if only he knew….) Written and directed by Maggie Greenwald, The Ballad of Little Jo does a marvelous job conveying the people and places of its period; and, unlike Bad Girls (which was released around the same time), we aren’t bludgeoned to death by feminist revisionism. Unfortunately ignored when it went out to theatres in the fall of 1993, The Ballad of Little Jo has fared rather better on video. Read More »