Thursday, 19 February 2009
232: "Theatre of Blood" with Vincent Price
from “Theatre of Blood” (1973)
written by Anthony Greville-Bell
Directed by Douglas Hickox
Vincent Price: Edward Lionheart
Diana Rigg: Edwina Lionheart
Coral Browne: Chloe Moon
If you haven’t seen “Theatre of Blood” then why not? Vincent Price plays Edward Lionheart, a murderous Shakespearian actor determined to avenge himself on a circle of critics. Each critic is killed off by Lionheart in a manner alluding to a particular play, and in each instance Lionheart indulges a taste for playacting.
Here we have Price as Lionheart pretending to a gay hairdresser called “Butch”. And Diana Rigg as a young women pretending to a snide male hairdresser (which is a sufficiently Shakespearian conceit in its own right).
Like Sellers’s performance, it’s a variant on the languorous primping, slightly predatory poof, leaning limply against the nearest support. There’s even a “duckie” thrown if for good measure. Some rather heavy emphasis when Butch says “gay” or “camp”, just so you don’t miss it. I’m going to pretend the Shakespeare quote featuring “faggots” is purely accidental.