Wednesday, November 29, 2006

King Lear on BBC World Service

Philip Madoc, Fiona Shaw, Deborah Findlay and Andrew Sachs head an all-star cast in King Lear, performed in front of an audience at London's The Globe Theatre, to mark the 400th anniversary of one of Shakespeare's most heart-wrenching plays.

It is the tragic story of a proud King, who forces his three daughters to tell him how much they love him before he will divide his kingdom between them. The older sisters, Goneril and Regan, vie with each other to make exaggerated and untrue declarations of their love, but the youngest, Cordelia – the King's favourite – tells him simply and truthfully that she loves him "according to my duty: no more, no less". Lear is outraged and exiles Cordelia, thus accelerating the downfall of his kingdom – and himself.

This is a new co-production between the BBC World Service and The Globe theatre, an exact replica of the original wooden Elizabethan theatre by the banks of the River Thames in London.

Philip Madoc plays Lear, Fiona Shaw plays Goneril, Deborah Findlay plays Regan, Mali Harries plays Cordelia and Andrew Sachs plays the Fool.

Listeners can hear a lively anniversary discussion of the play in King Lear On Boxing Day on BBC Radio 4.

Producer/Marion Nancarrow, Director/Alison Hindell

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Shakespeare in That Universal Language:Theater


Boundaries melt like ice cubes in August in the Chekhov International Theater Festival’s blissful production of “Twelfth Night,” which runs through Sunday at the Harvey Theater of the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Lines traditionally relied upon to separate sexes, scenes, senses and, for that matter, languages dissolve into a mist of theatrical enchantment in this all-male Russian-speaking interpretation of Shakespeare’s tale of identities under siege in the land of Illyria.