It's time for my review of King Lear.
I sadly don't go to Shakespeare as often as I should, with the last Shakespeare play I saw being Romeo and Juliet last August. However, this play has really reminded me what genius Shakespeare is. For those who aren't familiar with the show, the synopsis is: 'King Lear has ruled for many years. As age overtakes him, he decides to divide his kingdom among his children, living out his days without the burden of power. Allowing vanity to cloud his judgement, he believes he can relinquish the crown while enjoying the same authority and respect he has always known. Misjudging his children’s loyalty, he soon finds himself stripped of all the trappings of state he has taken for granted. Alone in the wilderness, he is left to confront his mistakes. ' It is such a fascinating and intriguing play, I was so engrossed in the story. The play was written over 400 years ago and yet it is still very relevant. The show features a very strong cast consisting of; Michael Pennington as King Lear, Catherine Bailey as Goneril, Sally Scott as Regan, Beth Cooke as Cordelia, Adrian Irvine as Albany, Shane Attwooll as Cornwall, Pip Donaghy as Gloucester, Tom McGovern as Kent, Gavin Fowler as Edgar, Scott Karim as Edmund, Daniel O'Keefe as Oswald, Joshua Elliott as Fool, Caleb Frederick as France and Doctor and Reginald Edwards as Burgundy and Curan. The cast all worked very well together and made the Shakespearean language sound so natural. The costumes and lighting were very well designed and the set is fairly simple, yet extremely effective. I'd heard a little bit about Michael Pennington prior to seeing the show, but I had never seen him live. He gives such an outstanding performance and it was a real privilege to actually see the performance live. I also thought Gavin Fowler was really exceptional as Edgar, he puts a lot of emotion into the role. I really enjoyed this more than I expected to. For people who don't see Shakespeare that often, I would definitely recommend searching for a brief summary of the show before going. There is a lot to take in and to fully understand the show, it may be better to have some knowledge of the show beforehand. I understood most of the show, but I must confess to having a look on Wikipedia at the interval to fully understand it all.
The featured star of King Lear is, drum roll please… MICHAEL PENNINGTON!
Michael is perfect for this part and after seeing him in the show I would love to see him in some more Shakespeare. I shall be on the look-out for news on his next production!
Now for my final verdict on King Lear. I give King Lear…
I was thoroughly impressed by this production and I would definitely recommend to Shakespeare fans. The show will be touring until July, so if you're a fan of Shakespeare, have a look if this production will be coming to a theatre near you.
Think it should have got a higher rating? Think it should have got a lower rating? If so comment below.
In a few weeks, I will be heading across the pond once again to the Big Apple in an attempt to see 6 shows in 4 and a half days! Join me next time when I will be reviewing Fiddler on the Roof.
Thanks for reading!