A host of top performers and theatre-makers have lent their support to a campaign for the Theatre Artists Fund, in the lead-up to the 16 March anniversary of UK theatres closing due to the pandemic.
Stand-out performances in any era are often only judged so in retrospect and modern theatre offers much that will be remembered. But once in a while, you know you’re in the presence of greatness, and Ian McKellen’s King Lear will be talked about for years to come.
The scale of the intimate family drama that Robert Icke has fashioned from Shakespeare’s ever-present tragedy amplifies effectively, and Andrew Scott’s deeply conversational style still resonates strongly.
This production will doubtless have its detractors – it’s not spoken precisely enough, it doesn’t smell of war enough, there are too many watches – but for me, it is as exciting and engaging as Hamlet gets. The best I’ve witnessed out of the 15 I’ve watched.
This list is looking a little further afield to shows I hope to get to throughout the year from Bolton to Manchester, Sheffield, Woking and several Off-West End and fringe venues.
This is a review I’ve been pondering for a week or more now: where to start was my biggest issue. The epic proportions of this show are hard to comprehend, namely because, when you think about it, this is a trilogy of Greek tragedies that were written over 2000 years ago circa 458 BC. So you may be forgiven for thinking what relevance this theatrical event of the year has in today’s society?
The Oresteia is probably one of those stories you don’t know. Until you start watching it again. Only then, piecing together fragments, does it slowly resurface. It’s a muddle of murders. Each one justifying the next, avenging the last.