King Lear (2012): Almeida Theatre Company, Almeida Theatre
PrKing Lear (2012)
PRINCIPAL CAST: Kieran Bew (Edmund); Phoebe Fox (Cordelia); Trevor Fox (Fool); Ian Gelder (Kent); Richard Goulding (Edgar); Jenny Jules (Regan); Jonathan Pryce (King Lear); Zoe Waites (Goneril); Clive Wood (Gloucester).
This production ran from 31 August - 3 November 2012.
"Michael Attenborough's production first impresses with its lucidity, with how it depicts the Lears as a family unit - the first of this magnificently strange tragedy's set of fractured alliances." ~ Dominic Maxwell, The Times, 12 September 2012, in Theatre Record 2012, Issue 19
"Tom Scutt's design of brick-walled arches neatly echoes that of the Almeida itself, but his costumes have a flavourless, dun-coloured universality. And the supporting performances are good without being radically surprising." ~ Michael Billington, The Guardian, 12 September 2012, in Theatre Record 2012, Issue 19
"Attenborough's production, set within the courtyard of a crumbling brick castle and with costumes that sometimes look as though they have been borrowed from the Ladybird Book of Medieval Dress, plods at times, and at others seems alarmingly sentimental. When a shoot of vegetation suddenly pushes up through the stage following the blinding of Gloucester, as if to tell us that all is not lost and that evil will eventually destroy itself, I found myself groaning at such crass symbolism. The acting is uneven too. Phoebe Fox's petulant Cordelia is the least moving I have seen in the role. But Ian Gelder beautifully captures Kent's dogged loyalty and devotion...there are strong performances from Zoe Waites and Jenny Jules as the wicked sisters..." ~ Charles Spencer, Daily Telegraph, 13 September 2012, in Theatre Record 2012, Issue 19
"In Michael Attenborough's austere new Shakespeare production, with a splendidly bearded Jonathan Pryce in the title role, there is more than a hint of something dark and inappropriate in Lear's family history. You only get glimpses - when Lear laciviously kisses Zoe Waites's ruthless Goneril on the mouth, and when he stands indecently close to Jenny Jules's neurotic Regan - but the idea hangs in the air and suggests that there is good reason behind the daughters' callous emasculation of their father." ~ John Nathan, Jewish Chronicle, 14 September 2012, in Theatre Record 2012, Issue 19
"Still, there's some spectacular lighting (and lightning) and at times the cast seem to be wonderfully lit like characters in a Caravaggio painting. The blinding of Clive Wood's kindly Gloucester, meanwhile, is a bloody affair with Chook Sibtain's big brute of a Cornwall even flinging his gouged eyeball back at him." ~ Julie Carpenter, Daily Express, 14 September 2012, in Theatre Record 2012, Issue 19