Posts Tagged Shakespeare

King Lear

King Lear

Act One

Zoo Monkey House, Venue 124

0131 662 6892


This intense modern adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s bloodiest tragedies brings the events surrounding Lear and his daughters forward to a feral, post-apocalyptic Britain.


King Lear

These eclipses in the sun portend no good to us…

Lear gives up power to his two thuggish daughters, Regan and Goneril, while spurning his favourite daughter Cordelia who declines to flatter him. Shorn of its Tudor garb, the brutality of this tragedy becomes much clearer to the modern audience.  There are some nice modern touches; messages now come via smartphone and pistols replace blades.

This tale of madness, treachery and bad faith is powerful stuff; a million miles away from Shakespeare’s boring image. Be warned, though, this is not for the fainthearted. The torture and gouging out of the ex-policeman Gloucester’s eyes is truly shocking. It’s a flawless performance from a top class cast.

**** Four Stars

David Kerr

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Icarus Theatre Collective

New Town Theatre

George Street, Venue 7.


SHAKESPEARE’S plays are often regarded as worthy but boring.  That’s what comes of reading them in school rather than watching them performed.  Given the right treatment, Hamlet, Julius Caeser and Macbeth can be as gripping as any Hollywood blockbuster.

This production fits the bill perfectly.  The high-octane opening battle sets the scene for this dark tale on intrigue and violence. Despite the limitations of a small cast of seven, the cast have the choreography so perfect that they can switch roles in seconds with quick alterations of costume. In a red dress, Sophie Brooke is Lady Macbeth; with a cloak over her head she becomes one of the Three Witches.  With other variations of her costume she becomes a Murderer or Rosse.  The action is fast-moving and unrelenting, so pay attention.

Five Stars alone are due to the designers of the simple set and the expressive mood-setting lighting and sound. You’ll find out what a bane-moon looks like.

Reviewed by David Kerr

***** Five Stars

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