Tuesday, February 24, 2015

King Lear

Colm Feore as Lear
Bernard LaMarsh told Kelvin he would like to go see King Lear.

Bernard told Kelvin that he is not sure how accessible it would be to him, since he has never studied Shakespeare.

 I have been thinking about that dilemma off and on – how in the first 15 minutes of the play it is hard to throw myself back into the sixteenth century language.

I have usually done some homework and at least refreshed my memory with the plot – the names of the characters and the major families represented in the play. And I try to get the places in my mind where scenes might happen ie, the castle, the moor, the edge of a cliff.

But all of the above doesn’t seem to be enough in the initial scenes and I worry that this is all going to get by me and I won’t know what happened. And I won’t deny that I have to work the whole play – keeping myself on the edge of my seat, since there are no subtitles to help me along.

At any rate – the play? Exquisite. We had some technical difficulties in our theatre. The play didn’t start automatically as it was programmed to, so we were 20 minutes late – though it did start at the beginning. Then three other times the projection went down and we had a black screen. Don’t you just hate it when that happens at home. At the theatre we had all come too far, had set aside this time too many weeks ago, to get up and leave. But I was laughing at that tremendous amount of energy that gets let down, just as we are climbing to a high point in the play and then it is over. Or at least interrupted. And then interrupted again. Nothing like getting an audience coalesce over their collective desire to keep the action going.  I could feel an internal giggle when we had an interruption and I heard a male voice yell out, "Whose got the control?"

I have forgotten how much fun Shakespeare’s fool is. He just about out shone Lear. Well, I shouldn’t say that for not much can be better than watching a figure in a play get older and then make foolish mistakes. That is how I feel. Better to see someone else making those poor judgements on screen, than to have any eyes turned on me as I make my own.

I adored the play. The scene at the cliff is amazing. And having never been to Stratford for their Festival, it was a joy to see inside of the theatre and to get a tour backstage during the intermission.

As to the question, was the play being accessible? I was thinking that Bonnie could even take David. Kids get out of these performances what they can – so why deny them that. Yes. Young and old. There is a place for you at King Lear.

Watch for the Encore, March 7, 2015


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