Saturday, January 28, 2012

King Lear

In December, I saw the play King Lear in Leuven. The play was really interesting because it was the first time that I saw a play of Shakespeare in a theater. Of course I saw some film adaptations of Shakespeare’s works, but none of King Lear and none as a theater play, so I was very excited to see it. And at the end of the day I was not disappointed. The actors were great and the production was good. The atmosphere in the theater was excellent and intimate because the stage and the audience were small. However, I had some difficulties to understand everything. For example, I could hardly understand the actress who played the role of the fool. She spoke very fast. But I think she was the best of the eleven actors. Another weak point was that the play lasted a bit too long. Indeed, I was relieved when the play ended even if I enjoyed it. A Shakespeare play always gathers a lot of actors. This company consisted of eleven actors and that each actor played different roles. For example, the actress who played the fool also played the role of Cordelia. And the actor who played the King of France had also the role of Edgar. Moreover, each actor also played the roles of extras. To distinguish the different roles, they wore different clothes of course. But they wore masks too if they appeared as extras. The setting was simple but efficient. What I did like were the first minutes of the play. The actors began to dance on music as an introduction to the show. Furthermore, King Lear is well-known for its cruelty. In this play, this cruelty is well related. For example, the scene in which the Earl of Gloucester has his eyes taken out is horrible. But it is Shakespeare. So to conclude, I would recommend this play to others because this production is excellent.

Charlotte Kinard.

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