Thursday, February 16, 2006


The most gratifying comment about this production came after the fact, when a patron whose opinion I value highly told me that he found the play both briskly paced and highly accessible.

We got a smattering of criticism about a lack of "tragic depth"--ie. not going far enough with the emotions of the piece. I've received this criticism for previous productions also. Personally, I think most people's idea of "tragic depth" stands in direct opposition to the "fast and accessible" approach; when they think of Shakespeare in the grandiloquent RSC style, they imagine slow, leaden productions where actors emote their lines into ponderous oblivion.

I'm sorry, but give me fast and accessible any day of the week. Isn't that a greater accomplishment than "tragic depth": to deliver a Shakespeare play--especially one as complex and as bleak as Lear--in a way that doesn't make the audience feel like they've been through a comparable ordeal? To make them feel like they've understood the story and the themes, and to send them out of the theatre feeling like their time has not been wasted?

I don't mean to pat myself on the back here--at least, not too much--but I think I chose the more sensible, and more fulfilling, road.

OK, now I'm really done. Come visit me at Stage Whispers!


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