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King Lear


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#61 Lynette

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 10:23 PM

Richard, do you know where the Roundhouse is? Lucky the man who can afford to live anywhere near it.

As for the Barbican, come on people...a big expanse of nothing and The Pit surely was just that. And no decent affordable places to eat, nowhere to sit inside in the 'foyer' and only something to see in the summer, and that a murky pond with a few desultory fountain like spurts. Nothing the RSC did looked good there. Not one actor actually came over there despite the wonderful small distance between seats and stage. Plenty of legroom, that's about the only thing I can think of to praise.

This Lear wouldn't really come over in The Roundhouse; it would best suit the Olivier despite my horror of that place too. But of course can't be done.

#62 richard

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Posted 19 May 2007 - 09:35 AM

[quote name='Lynette' date='May 18 2007, 11:23 PM' post='10055']
Richard, do you know where the Roundhouse is? Lucky the man who can afford to live anywhere near it.


angry.gif   I do indeed know where the Roundhouse is and have seen many productions there (one truly great one, Vanessa Redgrave in Ibsen's Lady from the Sea), but it is not an appealing venue.  The last time the RSC went there it was a financial disaster and websites stressed its geography and the risks of street parking as one of the off putting factors.  Toby Stephens' Coriolanus (far superior to the recent RSC one) was 'all right' in the Swan, but once it transferred to the Barbican it was like a liberation and showed what could be done with that space.  I agree it wouldn't suit Lear as well, but any 'big' production goes well there in my experience.  Yes, the Pit is dreadful, but then so are many studio 'workshop' venues, the only places where one can be 'right on' and uncomfortable simultaneously.

#63 Jan Brock

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Posted 19 May 2007 - 01:30 PM

QUOTE(richard @ May 18 2007, 03:24 PM) View Post
The Barbican was a fabulous venue and the RSC's peremptory departure from it a stain on the company's recent history, financially reprehensible, and more than discourteous to the City of London, who did so much to create what the RSC wanted in the first place.

It was accessible, comfortable, good views even from the cheaper seats, and one could park safely.  Roundhouse - you must be joking.  The RSC core audience is not going 'up North' to that over-rated venue, wondering if their hub caps are safe on their cars for the evening.  (This very clear from websites after the RSC's financially disastrous last visit there.)  Get  real!


I am not supporting the Roundhouse - merely reporting a rumour I heard. Actually, Sylvester McCoy has mentioned it in an interview also as a possible location for Lear.  

As to nothing looking good at the Barbican - well, the Terry Hands "Much Ado" and "Cyrano" both looked fantastic there and would have been wasted in some moth-eaten West End flea pit like the RSC's current London "home".

#64 richard

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Posted 19 May 2007 - 06:32 PM

rolleyes.gif
Yes, Jan I know you were not advocating a return to the Roundhouse, merely reporting the rumour.  Sorry about the ambiguity.  Whichever RSC suit is thinking of it needs his head examining.

#65 Sandi

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 04:24 AM

QUOTE(Haz @ Apr 8 2007, 05:06 PM) View Post
Saw Lear last night.. running time was at 3hrs 25 minutes.


How long is the first act?
thanks

#66 Lynette

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 12:37 PM

Long; go to loo before it starts.

#67 Ian

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 10:46 PM

I think Jan is correct - I have also heard the Roundhouse, which may be adapted to a thrust to mimic the Stratford home. It is now highly unlikely to be one of the Delfont-Mackintosh theatres that were in the agreement
The engine roared, the motor hissed,
And who could see that the road would twist

#68 Octo

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 07:07 AM

I'm new here, drawn by the postings and because King Lear is soon to come to Australia where I live. I saw this production in Stratford at the end of March. It appears to be set in a palace at the end of the Romanov empire, and as the play progresses, the setting gradually disintegrates. I thought it a brilliant production and was very moved by it. Trevor Nunn's inspirations and feelings about the play are in the programme. The season in Melbourne is apparently almost sold out. It is not playing in Sydney.

I was staggered by the bitterness of Germaine Greer's "review". In Australia, she is becoming as mucn an embarrassment to many of us as is Barry Humphries' creation, the arts minister, Sir Les Patterson.

Greer does not become a critic just because she can reference some past performances.



#69 Jan Brock

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 08:11 AM

QUOTE(Octo @ May 25 2007, 08:07 AM) View Post
I'm new here, drawn by the postings and because King Lear is soon to come to Australia where I live. I saw this production in Stratford at the end of March. It appears to be set in a palace at the end of the Romanov empire, and as the play progresses, the setting gradually disintegrates. I thought it a brilliant production and was very moved by it. Trevor Nunn's inspirations and feelings about the play are in the programme. The season in Melbourne is apparently almost sold out. It is not playing in Sydney.

I was staggered by the bitterness of Germaine Greer's "review". In Australia, she is becoming as mucn an embarrassment to many of us as is Barry Humphries' creation, the arts minister, Sir Les Patterson.

Greer does not become a critic just because she can reference some past performances.


Interestingly Greer said she thought the play was set in "Ruritania" (I think just so she could mention the last Nunn production of the play which was set in that way). However, like you say, it is obvious to one and all that it is set in pre-revolutionary Russia within the context of the Russian Orthodox Church.

I did not see the 1970s Nunn/Sinden production, but the one thing I could have told you about it was its "Ruritanian" setting, so I guess she actually might not have seen that production either.

Although she comprehensively rubbishes the production she also claims to have been "moved to tears" by part of it. An odd dichotomy.

I could go on, but finally, in terms of rearrangement of text and introduction of staging elements not in the script, she calls it Nunn's "most perverse" production ever. Probably she hasn't actually seen many of his productions then - such as (his very good) Timon of Athens, for example.



#70 Alexandra

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 10:17 AM

Just putting in a word for the Pit here. I've seen some productions which fitted it beautifully - Pimlott's Richard II (still the best I've seen), Attenborough's The Prisoner's Dilemna, an interesting play recently called Europe...many others.  And the main theatre is adaptable - look at what Donnellan did with it for the recent Three Sisters.  I would far rather see something in the Barbican or the Pit than in the west end. I like the Roundhouse too, but I can see it's a bit of trek for many people.




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