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ECU SCREENS launches Spring 2020 season with 'King Richard the II'

Staff Writer
The Shawnee News-Star

The Tragedy of King Richard the Second, National Theatre Live’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s Richard II, launches the spring season for ECU SCREENS at 6 p.m. Friday, January 17.

The screening will be inside the Raymond J. Estep Multimedia Center of the Bill S. Cole University Center. The recorded live production is open to the public and tickets are $10 for community members. East Central University students receive free admission, sponsored by ECU SCREENS.

This visceral new production about the limits of power stars Simon Russell Beale as the irresponsible, foolish and vain king of England whose weak leadership sends his kingdom into disarray and his court into uproar. Seeing no other option but to seize power, the ambitious Bolingbroke challenges the throne and the king’s divine right to rule.

Adapted to a brisk 100 minutes, this bold retelling of Richard II features a stripped-back and contemporary aesthetic. In the title role, “Simon Russell Beale proves himself our foremost Shakespearean actor” (Independent) in a “timely portrait of a country in chaos” (Evening Standard).

National Theatre Live is a groundbreaking project to broadcast the best of British theatre to cinemas around the world. The Tragedy of King Richard the Second has a BBFC rating of 12A, which is roughly analogous to a PG-13 rating from the MPAA.

The spring season will continue with two special events in January and February. At 11 a.m. Wednesday, January 29, professors Joe Dougherty, James Rauch, and Michael Scott of ECU’s Harland C. Stonecipher School of Business and special guest Marran Ogilvie, an Oklahoma native who rose to executive positions on Wall Street in the 2000s, will discuss the role played by the Lehman Brothers financial services firm in the global financial crisis of 2008.

Following these presentations, ECU SCREENS will present the National Theatre Live production of The Lehman Trilogy, which dramatizes the epic rise and fall of the financial firm whose spectacular collapse into bankruptcy trigged the largest financial crisis in history.

The screening begins at 1 p.m. A limited number of tickets to this event, which will be held in the Raymond J. Estep Multimedia Center, will be made available to the general public. To make a reservation, email ECU SCREENS co-director Dr. Steve Benton at sbenton@ecok.edu.

At 2 p.m. on February 12, the ECU SCREENS spring season will continue with National Theatre Live’s epic new theatre adaptation of Small Island, based on Andrea Levy’s Orange Prize winning novel about Jamaican immigrants to Britain in the 1940s.

Later in February, ECU SCREENS will host ECU’s 10th annual Foreign Film Festival. The festival launches at 4 p.m. Friday, February 14, with a screening of the French comedy Return of the Hero (Le Retour du hero). Return of the Hero showcases the comedic talents of two of France’s biggest stars, Academy Award winner Jean Dujardin and César winner Mélanie Laurent, in a hilarious confrontation over gender roles, honesty and good storytelling. Seasoned with a timely streak of feminism, this zesty period piece is one of the most intelligent entertainments in recent French cinema.

Prior to the screening, the public is invited to attend an event titled, “Ask Me About the World,” featuring international ECU students and faculty who will share stories and answer questions about their home countries.

The Foreign Film Festival will continue with a Russian-language film at 4 p.m. Friday, February 21, and will conclude at 4 p.m. Friday, February 28, with the Spanish-language film Pain and Glory (Dolor y Gloria) directed by Pedro Almodóvar and featuring Antonio Banderas, whose performance recently earned him a nomination for this year’s Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role.

The ECU SCREENS season will resume at 6:30 p.m. Friday, March 27, with the National Theatre Live production of Arthur Miller’s blistering drama “All My Sons,” starring Sally Fields and Bill Pullman. The spring season will then conclude at 6:30 p.m. Friday, May 1, with the brand-new play “Hansard,” a witty and devastating portrait of Britain’s governing class also produced by National Theatre Live.

To learn more about ECU SCREENS, like the ECU SCREENS Facebook page. For more information about the National Theatre in Great Britain and the National Theatre Live screenings, visit www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/.