King Lear (2008): Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, The Globe Theatre, Bankside
PrKing Lear (2008)
PRINCIPAL CAST: Sally Bretton (Goneril); Kellie Bright (Regan); David Calder (Lear); Paul Copley (Kent); Trystan Gravelle (Edgar); Daniel Hawksford (Edmund); Jodie McNee (Cordelia); Joseph Mydell (Gloucester); Danny Lee Wynter (Fool).
This production ran from 2 May - 17 August 2008, according to Theatre Record.
"The characters in Dominic Dromgoole's Tudor production look as though they might have stepped out of a Holbein painting, reminding us that the play's concerns are very close to is time. And this is an admirably clear, fluent staging with a fine Lear in David Calder....Around Calder, the acting is mixed. Paul Copley (Kent), Trystan Gravelle (Edgar) and Danny Lee Wynter (Fool) are all good." ~ Sarah Hemming, "Tenderness and wild terror", Financial Times, 6 May 2008
"Here, with stark simplicity, the tempest on the heath is evoked by a visible wind machine and by baleful drumming that bashes in scary syncopation with the beat of the verse and rouses a rabble of diseased, bleeding bedlam beggars....[Lear] has an affecting, tender relationship with Danny Lee Wynter's spoofingly effete Fool but obliviously knocks him aside in his mad fascination with the jester's eventual replacement, Poor Tom....True, there are some disappointing patches in the Jacobean-dress production. Joseph Mydell is an unduly gentle and quiescent Gloucester" ~ Paul Taylor, "Back to basics for an emotional Lear", Independent, 6 May 2008
"It's direct and fast paced, discovers a surprising amount of humour within this savage text, and penetrates to the heart of this darkest and deepest of Shakespearean tragedies. The costumes are Jacobean and the music, played on ancient instruments, consists of settings of the Old English poems The Seafarer and The Wanderer sung in the original Anglo-Saxon by a woman ballad singer. When the storm blows, it is created by drums, thunder-sheets and a wooden wind machine operated by a puffing stage hand....There are some exceptional supporting performances from Trystan Gravelle (Edgar) and Paul Copley (Kent), who contrive to make goodness dramatically interesting, and from Kellie Bright an exceptionally vicious Regan. Joseph Mydell's Gloucester could do with more dramatic weight" ~ Charles Spencer, "A mighty Lear in full-blooded glory", Daily Telegraph, 5 May 2005
"Sally Bretton and Kellie Bright could bring more psychological complexity to Lear's bad daughters and Joseph Mydell could find more in a Gloucester so mild that you half-expect him to help out at his own eye extraction....Danny Lee Wynter's fastidious, affectionate Fool gives Calder the opportunity to demonstrate his own capacity for warmth." ~ Benedict Nightingale, "Calder arrives at the top table", The Times, 5 May 2008
"The casting is uneven: there are some really good performances, in particular, Calder's magnificent, broken Lear and Danny Lee Wynter's wistful Fool are up against less good work, or actors who have not yet got the measure of the space." ~ Lyn Gardner, "Magnificent Lear carries the burden of a broken home", The Guardian, 5 May 2008