This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
KING LEAR


DARTMOuTH sHAKespeARe WeeK 6th By Max Brant


shakespeare Week in 2103, asked ‘Why Lear?’ The simple and slightly fatuous answer would be, ‘Why not?’ Over the years that The Inn Theatre Company have been producing DSW, we have grown in confidence, not only of our own abilities but those of our audience to accept the slightly different way we present things and started exploring our own creativity and the boundaries of those abilities. We set ourselves benchmarks, sometimes quite by accident and then made the decision to exceed our own expectations the following year. We have had dancers and a ballerina on stage for ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, built a scaffold galleon and wind and rain machines for ‘The Tempest’, had a full coven of dancing witches for ‘Macbeth’ and every year, from a technical point of view, things have improved and advanced beyond anything we might have dreamt when it all started back in 2002. The first full tragedy we attempted


was ‘Romeo and Juliet’…yet somehow, and I can’t quite fathom how, that play is never viewed by the audience as a tragedy, more Shakespeare’s Mills and Boon-ish, high-gothic romance. The only element missing from the high-gothic tag is that of the supernatural. All the other plays produced have been his comedies or have had high comedy content: ‘The Merchant of Venice’ has Gobbo, ‘The Tempest’ has Trinculo and Stephano and even ‘Macbeth’ has its porter. So we have high expectations of ourselves and wanted to present


KING LEAR S


everal people, when they discovered which play we were presenting for Dartmouth


- 10th


a play that people knew, or had, at the very least, heard of. What better play is there, in that category, than the one that the Romantic critic William Hazlitt called ‘un-actable’? Many people consider ‘King Lear’ to be Shakespeare’s greatest play; interestingly though, those same people do not consider it to be his best play. That’s an argument that can, and does, rage on ad infinitum and not something I want to get drawn into here! Lear is probably my favourite play in the canon and, since I started being involved with the company, have always had a hankering to either play the part or direct it.


Photos by Keith Gould AUGUST


It is a dark piece, not without humour but in many respects, it is Shakespeare’s most innovative and challenging play, not only for the audiences of the time but for the actors as well and the same holds true for audience and actors alike today. The parallel stories of Lear’s and Gloucester’s sufferings at the hands of their own children reflect anxieties that would have been familiar to shakespeare’s audiences. One possible event that may have influenced this play is a lawsuit that occurred not long before ‘King Lear’ was written, in which the eldest of three sisters tried to have her elderly father, Sir Brian Annesley, declared insane so that she could take control of his property. Annesley’s youngest daughter, Cordell, successfully defended her father against her sister. It is also the play that gives us the first major attempt by Shakespeare to expound ideas, and also philosophies, in the speeches rather than merely advancing the plot. ‘Why Lear?’ It’s a challenge. One that offers


us and the audience a chance to explore Shakespeare and his relevance to the present day…that and the fact that our audiences have supported all our choices thus far and ‘King Lear’ is a thumping good piece of theatre. There will be a few surprises, a couple of little twists that people may not expect in a play of this nature but we hope that it will prove to be equally as entertaining as anything else we have produced. It is profound, powerful and morally ambiguous. It has at its heart, tales of madness, jealousy, hatred, lust and ingratitude; there are no consoling explanations. Yet for all that, it is also a tale of contd. over


27


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96  |  Page 97  |  Page 98  |  Page 99  |  Page 100  |  Page 101  |  Page 102  |  Page 103  |  Page 104  |  Page 105  |  Page 106  |  Page 107  |  Page 108  |  Page 109  |  Page 110  |  Page 111  |  Page 112  |  Page 113  |  Page 114  |  Page 115  |  Page 116  |  Page 117  |  Page 118  |  Page 119  |  Page 120  |  Page 121  |  Page 122  |  Page 123  |  Page 124  |  Page 125  |  Page 126  |  Page 127  |  Page 128  |  Page 129  |  Page 130  |  Page 131  |  Page 132  |  Page 133  |  Page 134  |  Page 135  |  Page 136  |  Page 137  |  Page 138  |  Page 139  |  Page 140  |  Page 141  |  Page 142  |  Page 143  |  Page 144  |  Page 145  |  Page 146  |  Page 147  |  Page 148