Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Lear

Yes, yes, I know it's not King Lear, it's a hummingbird.
Yes, yes, I know everyone thinks they just hover and never rest. This one rested for a good five minutes.

So, King Lear. We saw the dress rehearsal tonight, strange to see it all not quite set up. The only people who were there, like us, were invited.

Strange also that I had to give my full name because there was another with the same initial and surname collecting tickets.

The artistic director of many years with Bard on the Beach, Christopher Gaze, played King Lear. In my opinion, he eclipsed the entire cast. His performance was supreme.
I'm not a big fan of the 'modernising' of Shakespeare, but I get why they do it. I think it would be possible to set many of the plays outside of time so I don't know why they don't do that. This was a modernised one.
On the one hand, it added something to Lear's dementia that Gaze spent the majority of the play in a wheelchair. Likewise I liked the fool replaced by a nurse. But... I could have done without the modern clothes really.
I think I'm disliking it less since becoming addicted to Bard on the Beach, but, meh, I think it is sometimes as lacking in imagination as leaving it as it is.

Still, nothing can detract from the fact that Christopher Gaze's Lear was magic.

Oh, and earlier in the day - the sun shone. This didn't stop me from wearing my snowboots to Lear though. And I was glad I did.

3 comments:

Gail said...

I saw the spaghetti western version of Taming of the Shrew last year and thought it was fantastic. However, restaging plays seems to be a big fad now - aren't all of the Bard productions restaged this year?

One of the worst staging's I've seen is Chekov's Three Sisters set in Pakistan. Everyone in the show was white, wearing saris and talking about getting back to Moskow. A bit disconcerting.

Kevin said...

Bard often re-stages, but I believe the Tempest is still kept more or less to the time it was written. I'm not sure specifically when it was written, but old Bill did manage a few plays in the 17th :)

Titus will be a tough one. I don't know why anyone would insist on trying to put a History into a different period. Applicable themes or no, when you have to start rewriting to fit the context it so easily falls apart (one simple reference to a Bentley last night was really jarring).

Schneewittchen said...

Sounds ghastly Gail. I guess they think it is imaginative, but I think it lacks imagination.