House of Cards




In addition to its direct debts to Macbeth, Andrew Davies' cunning screenplay borrows the Shakespearian device of having our anti-hero speak soliloquies to the audience. This is hard to get away with, but Davies pulls it off with a charm reminiscent of Richard III (which is who Ian based his character on) and with more than a little help from Ian Richardson's beautifully dry acting. Not many actors could survive Paul Seed's seemingly insatiable appetite for close-ups, but Richardson always leaves us wanting another look at that smug smile. Somehow along the way we get swept into the story and this forces us to interact with the morality of what he is doing – right or wrong. After British troops opened fire in a riot in Cyprus,

‘The death of a child is a terrible thing. But these children were encouraged into illegal and riotous assembly by their own parents, and paid a terrible price. You want a strong leader. You chose me. Everything I do - everything that is done in my name - you partake of it’

There are some marvelous supporting roles, Miles Harrison as Roger O’Neill, Susannah York as Mattie Storin, Diane Fletcher as the scheming Mrs Urquhart, Colin Jeavons as the Tim Stamper, Kitty Aldridge as Sarah Harding, David Ryall as Sir Bruce Bullerby and finally the wonderfully comic Nickolas Grace as Geoffrey Booza Pitt.

Rumour has it that the then Conservative Government (initially PM Margaret Thatcher and later John Major) rearranged meetings and engagements around the air times of the series. Well FU,

‘You might say that – I couldn’t possibly comment’








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house of cards