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A Review of King Lear by the Royal Shakespeare Academy

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Introduction

A Review of King Lear by the Royal Shakespeare Academy First of all I would like to say that the Swan theatre in Stratford was excellent. The three levels were used excellently, people were walking on all the three levels, arguing with each other, and making announcements, people were talking from the different floors and moving on all the different levels, but somehow through some great timing it never became confusing, it was a feature that could have confused the audience but it was executed well. There were hundreds of lights, and props were used well even if there were only really a few tables, chairs and a bathtub and a curtain, the actors were dancing on the tables and later the chairs were used as obstacles to show the chaos and looked a lot dirtier to emphasise the anarchy of the second half of the play, the bathtub was used for Poor Tom (Edgar) to hide in. The stage was right in front of the audience, so you felt like you were right in the heart of the action and sometimes you were. ...read more.

Middle

is the eye gouging scene where the Duke of Gloucester gets his eyes ripped out. There was screaming, sound effects and lighting which portrayed the agony of torture well. There was fake blood, a fake eye (I hope) rolling across the stage. The lighting got darker and darker and the interval came. It set the mood for the depressingly tragic second half. The costumes were tuxedos and ball gowns which are still worn today at formal parties. After the interval the clothes were torn and dirtier which emphasised the distress of the latter parts of the play. The stage had lots of props (I explained earlier in this article how the tables and chairs were used) thrown over it, smoke effects used, overall this was very dark and completely suited the mood of the play (which I thought was excellent). Gloucester had black make up over his eyes there was excellent choreography he looked like he was uneasy but still seemed in control of the situation even though he couldn't see. ...read more.

Conclusion

He calls -- too late -- for Lear's and Cordelia's lives to be spared. We are told that Reagan and Goneril are dead. Lear carries Cordelia's body and cries, and distracts everyone before dying of a broken heart. The final line of the play is spoken by Edgar "Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say." I think he was telling us to be honest to ourselves and if a situation is bad say it is bad. Don't try to make things seem better than they are, is his basic message. In summary it was a good production because the stage was used to it's fullness, you actually felt like you were part of the play, due to the great choreography of the sword fight. The storm scene was excellent and had a waving curtain and great atmospheric music. The best compliment I can give this play is that I could easily write a few more pages about it. The props were used great and the acting superb and best of all there was a sword fight. I mean you don't see violence in modern day films and plays. ...read more.

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