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King Lear "Bam"

The play is at the Bam Harvey Theatre, located at 651 Fulton Street, Brooklyn New York. It runs three hours with one intermission.   King Lear is closing on February 9, 2014.

This is part of the Chichester Festival Theatre located in Chichester, West Sussex England.  It was founded in 1962.  The inaugural artistic director was Sir Laurence Olivier.

King Lear was written by William Shakespeare from 1603-1606 and was later revised.

Frank Langella won a Tony Award in 2007 for “Frost/Nixon” and was later nominated for an Academy Award for this role in 2008.  He also won a Tony Award for “Fortunes Fool” (2002) and “Seascape” (1975).  Frank was nominated for a Tony Award for “Match” (2004) and “Bram Stokers Dracula (1978). In 1965 he won an Obie Award for “The Old Glory” and “The White Devil”.

King Lear (Frank Langella) is getting old.  He wants to turn over his kingdom to his three daughters. However before he does, he wants them to tell him how much they love him.  Goneril, his oldest daughter (Catherine McCormack) and Regan, his second daughter (Laura O’ Neal) profess their undying love for him.  His youngest daughter Cordelia (Isabella Laughead) says I love you the way a daughter should no more or no less.   This infuriates Lear and he banishes her.  But not before her marries her to the Duke of France (Rob Heaps).  The Duke marries her for her honesty.  

The deal was King Lear was to live with both of his daughters.  However they want to get rid of him.

The other conflict is the Earl of Gloucester (Denis Conway) illegitimate son Edmund (Max Bennett).  He tells his father that his brother Edgar (Sebastian Armesto) the legal heir wants to kill the Earl.  The Earl banishes him.  In order to survive and not be killed he becomes a beggar, acting a little off the wall.

Greed, envy, war and power are among the issues dealt with in this play.

The cast of eighteen are excellent.

Frank Lngella range of emotion is authentic.  He is terrific in the role.

Sebastian Armes portrayal of Edgar is affective and tender.

Max Bennett as the illegitimate son oozes evil you cringe, that’s how good he was.

The stage is simple; the floor comes apart to allow water to come to go down as rain comes from the ceiling.  The back of the stage is slabs of wood slanted.  Through out the show the use of sound effects and light conveys what is going on. You don’t need more what is there works.  The designer is Robert Innes Hopkins.

This is a well done production of “King Lear”.  The only things I did not like were that it was too long and I had trouble hearing the youngest daughter.  Given this I would still see this show.

 

Review by Rozanna Radakovich

Photos by Annazor.

To read a candid interview with cast, scroll down to the left for recent photos.  Click on recent photos for this and other shows.

  

 

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