Dreamer, wordsmith, mum of two - I enjoy the outdoors, good food and good company. Subscribe to my articles to follow what I've been up to, and like those articles you want to see more of so I can tailor what I write to my audience.
An electric performance to the bitter end
Ian McKellen as King Lear and Anita Uwaje as Cordelia, credit Johan Persson, photo from www.mckellen.com
In this intimate, riveting performance of King Lear, you will be mesmerised by the acting, the set designs and the clever use of lighting. It probably sounds odd to proclaim this an all singing, dancing version of King Lear, but musical interludes are used extensively in this production, and it is an effective way to draw the viewer into the story.
Sylvester McCoy as King Lear's Fool with Ian McKellen as King Lear, photo by Johan Perrson, from Ian Mckellen's website at www.Mckellen.com
Of note are the introductory interviews with Ian McKellen, which explain why he wanted to have another crack at performing King Lear, and his uncommon approach of shrinking the size of the audience and venue, to produce a really intimate show where every reaction and facial expression can be seen at a very high level of granularity.
Claire Price as Goneril in King Lear. Photo by Johan Persson, taken from www.mckellen.com
The costume design is modern, and army camouflage lends a sombre hue to the battle scenes towards the end of the play. Combined with strobe lighting effects and movie-style music cutting between scenes, helps with adding a sense of tension and discomfort to the tone of the movie.
This is gut-wrenchingly good theatre and translates well to the screen. At almost 4 hours long (including a 20 minute intermission) it is for the true Shakespeare buffs and culture vultures willing to invest the time to appreciate this top notch performance. Ian McKellen has hinted that this may be his last major Shakespearean stage performance - so catch it while you can.
Danny Webb as Gloucester and Kirsty Bushell as Regan in KING LEAR. Photo credit Johan Persson, from www.mckellen.com