By William Shakespeare
The Lowry, 22 March 2011
Close to perfection, in so far as this Shakespeare production is compellingly contemporary yet remains true to the text.
Derek Jacobi’s Lear is crucial, of course, but more than that it is the performances of those actors around him, their characters’ various responses to Lear’s decline, that complete the play.
In this respect, Ron Cook as The Fool was exemplary.
A small digression: when Freud’s cancer became seriously bad and began to eat away at him (he chose not to treat it with drugs) a malignant growth on his neck began to smell something awful. The smell was such that his dog, a family pet of several years, recoiled away from him in fear, perhaps because on some level it failed to recognise its master. At the end of scene fifteen, Cook’s haunted look as he exited the stage put me in mind of this episode.
This is pretty much a must-see production. King Lear is at The Lowry until 26 March then tours throughout the UK up until about the middle of April. Details here.Explore posts in the same categories: Theatre review comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.