The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0616  Friday, 1 March 2002

From:           Laura Blankenship <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 01 Mar 2002 10:14:12 -0500
Subject:        King Lear in Philadelphia

I just wanted to report on a quite wonderful production of King Lear by
the Philadelphia Shakespeare Festival.  It was in a tiny theater which
made for a nice intimate setting.  I thought the acting was very good,
especially Lear and Cordelia, played by Buck Shirner and Sara Valentine
respectively.  I was sitting next to a young woman who knew nothing
about the play.  She gasped during the blinding scene, which I must
admit, being very close to it, was painful to watch (as it always is

Edmund was a bit stiff at times, but had some wonderful moments,
especially during the scene where he dupes Edgar.  Edgar himself was
very good, though I didn't think the Dover scene came off quite as well
as it could have.  When I saw it at the Globe, I remember it being
humorous and moving at the same time.  What a difficult scene to stage!

The best thing about the production was that I thought it captured the
close relationship between Lear and Cordelia very well, so we are truly
prepared for the reconciliation scene.  Lear's descent into madness was
quite well done, very believable (which it sometimes isn't).

If you're in the Philadelphia area, I recommend a trip to see it.  It
runs until March 24.  The website is http://www.phillyshakespeare.org.

Laura Blankenship
Villanova University

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