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Posts Tagged ‘Ryan Donaldson’

When my father was in his late 70’s, recently widowed, he announced ‘I didn’t have seven children for nothing’ and spent the remaining two years of his life ‘on tour’ giving away what little money he had in cash as birthday and Christmas presents. I hadn’t considered the parallels with Lear until seeing this. Of course, he received hospitality at every stop, there was no kingdom to divide and no-one died, but it was a similar decision as the one Lear outlines in the opening scene.

Helena Kaut-Howson’s production is refreshingly free of the directorial conceit and gimmicks which often pervade Shakespeare productions these days (The case for the prosecution cites The Globe’s 2017 and 2021 Romeo & Juliet’s!). It serves Shakespeare’s play very well. Though faithful to the verse, it has a great physicality, and uses the Globe space to its advantage. The direct audience engagement is limited and better for it. Claire van Kampen’s music is particularly good. It’s the sort of production I expect and want from the Globe, balancing the seriousness of the play with the playfulness of the venue.

Kathryn Hunter navigates Lear’s complex web of emotions brilliantly. The Globe’s AD Michelle Terry doubles up as Cordelia and Lear’s Fool and proves what a great interpreter of the bard she is. The rest of the cast is first class, with Ann Ogbomo’s Goneril and Marianne Oldham’s contrasting Regan both having great presence, Ryan Donaldson a charismatic Edmund and Kwaku Mills interpreting the role of Edgar very differently and very effectively.

This is what the Globe is for, one of their very best productions in recent years.

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