Thursday, June 26, 2008

Lear's Last Response

Below are comments heard in and around the production of Lear's Last at the Bailiwick Director's Festival.

"I don't understand Shakespeare and I don't understand Beckett, but I understand it when you put it together. You created an experience for your audience - and we were willing to go with it, like a David Lynch movie. It was abstract; there needs to be more theatre like this."

"I think some of the more subtle references were lost on me but the overall “art” effect was very cool… I loved that lighting and sound were actually used to their full effect and it was good crew of actors."

"It was hypnotic. I find the common denominator from the brilliant Beckett productions I've seen, is a hypnotic quality that pulls the audience in to the point where they don't want or need to understand what's going on. There were several moments last night where I was right there with the actors and the situation on stage. However, being mortal, I would then get pulled out of it for a second and remember I was in a theatre, only to find myself immersed again with the actor's moments. Very hypnotic. Very Beckett. Very rich."

Or perhaps everything is best summed up in the Slings and Arrows description of Act III Scene ii from King Lear:
"The storm is Lear, isn’t it? It’s Lear. A king, stripped of everything; riches… loyalties… standing naked on the heath. “Blow winds and crack your cheeks! Rage! Blow!” Do you hear the storm? And then he sees his fool waiting for him in the rain; standing there shivering in the cold and something in him stirs. “In boy,” he says. “Go first.” An incredible thing for a kind to say. Then he turns back into the storm and he actually prays. “Poor naked wretches where so e’er your you are that bide the pelting of this pitiless storm. How shall your houseless heads – your looped and winnowed raggedness defend you from seasons such as this?” He says, “I’ve taken too little care of this.” He makes the connection between his own suffering and the suffering of others. He’s loosing his mind, but on the way he’s finding his heart."

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