King Lear - NtSimon Russel Beale/Sam Mendes
Posted 03 March 2014 - 01:51 PM
Posted 03 March 2014 - 02:03 PM
Posted 03 March 2014 - 09:42 PM
- SRB rushes his delivery of pretty much all his speeches in the first half and mangles some of the great verse in the process. I could cope with and almost understand this in the first scene but was not convinced after that.
- I actually enjoyed the Fool but don't agree with his 'death'
- The two cuts I spotted both jarred for me: the first one being Edgar explaining why he's going mad (please tell me this speech exists in the normal text and I'm not going mad myself), and the loss of the duel between Edmund and Edgar, this staging mars that scene
- I really enjoyed the Gloucester/Lear scene towards the end, and thought it was well done
- Sadly this production at times looked lost
- And yes I can't agree more about the extras
Posted 09 March 2014 - 08:22 PM
Posted 09 March 2014 - 09:15 PM
Like all the best actors, he made his talents clear to even those of us at the back of the theatre. If that what it's like when poor Tom's a-cold, what must it be like on a warm day?
Posted 10 March 2014 - 12:30 AM
I liked the Fool. Adrian Scarborough just did a good job. He also seemed to balance SRB nicely, and made a very good foil. He was tender and enjoyable and fun but brought the due strangeness to speeches such as “This prophecy will Merlin make”. I thought Stephen Boxer deserved much more recognition for Written on the Heart (that it got so little recognition is still a bugbear) and thus it was great to see him here, and he was excellent. Liked, but didn’t love, Edmund and Edgar.
Goneril was very good, Kate Fleetwood did a fab job. My main problem with the normally excellent and always luminous Anna Maxwell Martin was that, by making her Regan such a flirt and a feminine backfooted character in the first half, she seemed ill at ease in the second half, not quite knowing what to do with her character’s violence and passion in the play as her character on stage lacked that drive and malice. It didn’t follow. Olivia Vinnall good enough as Cordelia and was rather nice alongside SRB, but didn’t leave a great impression.
I don’t think Mendes’ vision was entirely coherent, entirely applicable to the play, entirely intelligent and entirely enjoyable. Some performances made it better and some bits were superb (nice to see the cast, the storm I liked, most of the minor characters were good, the wine cellar was a lovely touch and I can’t say I disliked (though I can’t say I liked) the murder of the Fool). I’ve got a feeling that SRB will take the role again in twenty years, and that might be a treat. Elements were. But only elements. Much was lost from the updating/restaging and little was gained in response. It was uneven tonally and I don't thnk made for a wholly coherent vision. A curate's egg.
And the most cardinal sin, regarding Lear, was that when Lear came on with Cordelia my thought was less tragedy at this most tragic moment but joy that I could catch my train. In fact, when I saw it and he came on shouting, someone whispered, too loudly, “Oh God”.
Posted 10 March 2014 - 04:05 PM
Posted 15 March 2014 - 01:24 AM
Posted 18 April 2014 - 09:20 AM
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