King Lear (1995): West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds
PrKing Lear (1995)
PRINCIPAL CAST: Trevor Baxter (Gloucester); Robert Bowman (Edgar); Alexandra Gilbreath (Regan); Damien Goodwin (Edmund); Toby Jones (Fool); Tricia Kelly (Goneril); Maria Miles (Cordelia); Stephen Simms (Kent).
This production ran from 22 September - 28 October 1995 at the West Yorkshire Playhouse before transferring to the Hackney Empire from 15 November - 3 December 1995.
"In scuttles Warren Mitchell's Lear, his Ruritanian khaki and white beard making him look like a blend of an Old Contemptible and an over-age Buttons....[Jude Kelly's] proudction is inventive and busy, sometimes feverishly so. It is much concerned with the power of fathers, here Gloucester as well as Lear, to twist children's psyches into awful knots." ~ Benedict Nightingale, "This way madness lies", Times, 30 September 1998
"Paul Andrews's setting of bare black gunmetal, spiky poles and aerial mines, sets a harsh tone and there are some lavish effects involving fire and water and a supernumerary cast of shambling refugees suggesting every conflict from Bosnia backwards, while Lear's first costume of greatcoat, sash and sandals gestures at the abstracted, absurdist world of Ubu Roi." ~ Robin Thornber, "King Alf", The Guardian, 30 Septmber 1998
"The central point about Jude Kelly's West Yorkshire Playhouse production in Leeds is that it is stuck uncomfortably between the world of colloquial immediacy and the world of tragic greatness. It embodies a crucial 20th-century dilemma about some of Shakespeare's greatest plays: the problem of order, kingship and grandeur." ~ John Peter, "To play the king", Sunday Times, 8 October 1995