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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: October ::
Lear on PBS
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0988  Tuesday, 13 October 1998.

From:           Thomas F. Connolly <
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Date:           Monday, 12 Oct 1998 12:04:40 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Lear on PBS

Bruited as "the Lear of the century", last night's television production
was at best adequate.  I found Ian Holm's performance quite limited.
Not as dull as Michael Hordern's but with nothing of Scofield's
complexity.  Even Olivier's exhausted effort had more in it.

Holm registered two emotions: petulance and rage.  I would appreciate
hearing from people who saw the stage production.  Holm's redaing
reminded me of Hal Holbrook's.  Holbrook also emphasized Lear's
senescence, but also had a frightening aspect to his rage.  Holm seemed
dim somehow since his raging ahd almost no vocal range.  He screamed and
screamed.

Only at the very last moment did he impart anything challenging-a look
of peace just before he collapsed.

The supporting cast was good, but not one performance was remarkable.
it was momentarily interesting to observe the physical resemblance
between Lear and the Fool, but there was nothing else to think about in
their relationship.

On the whole, a decent production but wildly over-hyped by PBS.
 

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