King Lear

Two biases must be admitted up front: Stratford did a fabulous King Lear last summer with Colm Feore in the lead role and a very strong supporting cast. Second, we are leary of Jared Sakren’s directorial efforts. His Tempest two years ago was very weak and we were not convinced that he was up to the challenge of Lear.

If you have read my comments on As You Like It,  which we saw after Lear, you probably have a good idea how it went. I wrote a review of Lear first, but it seems to have been lost. So this seems a bit odd and out of order, because it is.

Lear was not a great production. Sakren in his director’s notes claims that Lear is not mad or suffering from dementia. But his lead actor apparently did not get the memo, as his Lear was clearly mad. The others in the cast were stereotypes or caricatures. The two sisters were dressed and acted like dominatrices. Stone faced and unmoving. The other big problem with the production was the sound. Sakren does not spend time thinking about whether the audience can hear the actors. He lets them talk to each other, and has fun with the sound effects, ignoring the impact on the audience.

We left at the intermission. Too tired to put up with a mediocre production.


About cathyriggall

Theatre junkie, who thinks live theatre is the ultimate form of living on the edge. You never know what will happen when an actor steps on the stage.
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One Response to King Lear

  1. keithhpotter says:

    Two-dimensional figures shouting at one another and, once we got into the storm, still not intelligible.
    The director’s notes said he did not believe Lear has dementia, but did not provide an alternative, either in the notes or the play, for his behaviour.
    The production was just frustrating. I was glad when we left, and was very doubtful about going to As You Like It the next evening.

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