Trilogy Day at The Globe: 03 Aug 2019

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All the world’s a stage.  Image: me

He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named (Henry V: IV,iii)

IF their legs are still working, that is.  Shakespeare’s Globe staged three plays last Saturday, and a ‘happy few‘ of us bought groundling tickets for the trilogy.  Here’s how I got on. [spoilers ahead]

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King Lear at The Globe (dir. Nancy Meckler)

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Is anyone going to step up and make this a great Lear with me?  (Kevin R McNally asks for help)

Whilst not one of my true favourites, Lear’s a play I know quite well and which, having a taste for Tragedy more than Comedy, I enjoy. I studied it at University, and I’ve seen at least two stagings before that I can remember. The first, at the Cambridge Shakespeare Festival some years back, was memorable for the blinding of Gloucester, which involved one of his eyeballs being sucked out. I’ve got a great photo of it (with a stretched ‘optical nerve’ leading from eye socket to mouth) which I often use to frighten children who claim that Shakespeare is boring. The second performance starred Derek Jacobi. The most striking things about it were Jacobi’s unsatisfyingly-camp Lear, and the use of strobe lighting to great effect in recreating the storm. Reading it, I’m always struck by Edmund‘s louche sexuality, and that always seems to have been missing. What did I want today? Hubris, wanton cruelty, ingratitude, and ‘the Globe experience‘ …

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