Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: March ::
Lear: Macready or Kean?
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0529  Tuesday, 22 March 2005

[1]     From:   Colin Cox <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Monday, 21 Mar 2005 10:50:57 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0517 Lear: Macready or Kean?

[2]     From:   L Wood <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Sunday, 20 Mar 2005 10:42:30 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0517 Lear: Macready or Kean?


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Colin Cox <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Monday, 21 Mar 2005 10:50:57 -0800
Subject: 16.0517 Lear: Macready or Kean?
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0517 Lear: Macready or Kean?

 >When did Shakespeare's "original" text of King Lear replace Nahum Tate's
 >revised version on the English stage?  Gary Taylor in "Reinventing
 >Shakespeare" says Macready did it in 1838, but Richard Altick in "The
 >English Common Reader" says it was Kean in 1823.  Thank you.

To add to the confusion, I would suggest it was Garrick who started the
ball rolling in the 1740's. Garrick played Lear over a 35 year span and
seems to have altered Tate's 'script' back to some portion of
Shakespeare's every time he performed the part. It was Garrick who put
back "O me, my heart! my rising heart . . ." True Garrick never did
break away from the 'happy ending' nor did he restore the Fool (though
he thought about it upon suggestion from Samuel Foote). He also kept
elements of the Cordelia - Edgar love affair and Cordelia's 'friend'
Arante (kinda makes you want to see it huh?) but he did try to put back
as much of the Shakespeare as he believed his audience would let him.

For the record, or at least the one I remember, it was Macready who put
back the Fool in the 1838 production. Kean, apart from being remembered
for his outstanding Iago and Richard III, was one of the first
'sympathetic' Shylocks (he himself probably being Jewish).

Colin Cox

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           L Wood <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Sunday, 20 Mar 2005 10:42:30 -0800
Subject: 16.0517 Lear: Macready or Kean?
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0517 Lear: Macready or Kean?

Chris Baker wrote:

 >When did Shakespeare's "original" text of King Lear replace
 >Nahum Tate's revised version on the English stage?  Gary
 >Taylor in "Reinventing Shakespeare" says Macready did it in
 >1838, but Richard Altick in "The English Common Reader"
 >says it was Kean in 1823.  Thank you.

Odell (in *Shakespeare from Betterton to Irving*, vol 2, pp 151-54,
194-96) says Edmund Kean appeared in manager Robert Elliston's partial
restoration of Lear in 1820; it was published as King Lear, "chiefly
from Nahum Tate's Edition, with some Restorations from the Original
Text".  Then, in 1823, Kean and Elliston again did Lear with the final
act restored, which was considered a landmark event.  Perhaps that is
what Altick refers to.  But, their version still retained the
Cordelia/Edgar love plot, as well as other additions to and omissions
(such as the Fool's part) from the original.

When Macready produced King Lear in 1838, it was completely "freed from
the interpolations" of the last 200 years.  There were still cuts and a
few scenes or speeches shifted, but the tragic ending and the Fool were
there, and the Cordelia/Edgar affair was not.

Lynette Wood

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, 
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the
editor assumes no responsibility for them.
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.