Friday, January 06, 2012

King Lear

On the 5th December we went to see a Shakespeare play in Leuven: King Lear. The old King Lear wants to divide his kingdom among his three daughters and to give the biggest part to the one who loves him the most. Therefore, his daughters have to flatter him. Whereas Goneril and Regan tell him that they love him more than anything on earth, Cordelia refuses to take part into this game. That is how the play begins. Here I will focus on the performance on stage. The company is the Cambridge University Theatre Group who is on tour in Belgium, Germany, Switzerland the Netherlands and the United-Kingdom. All its members (the 11 actors and technical crew) are students. The English, which is used in the play, is old Shakespearian English. That makes the actors hard to understand. Another disturbing feature of the play is the fact that, sometimes, the actors are wearing a mask. It is only by the end of the play that I realised that the masked actors played second roles. Some actors performed very well. The actor who played King Lear did it very well. He really managed to express the madness undergone by his character, but without overacting. Besides, he was the only actor who did not play any second role. Another outstanding performance was the one of the actor playing Edmund. He really managed to turn his character into a bad one who is hated right from his first spoken words on.

To sum up, attending a Shakespeare play is worth doing. Even if you do not understand everything, you will enjoy it. However, keep in mind that it lasts at least three hours.

No comments: