Review: King Lear, Red Rose Chain, Rendlesham Forest, to August 26.

NEVER mind Cordelia, I’ll tell you how much I love you King Lear.

This is Shakespeare’s classic as you’ve never seen it before.

Director Joanna Carrick, who also plays dispicable daughter Goneril and wronged father Gloucester, has taken a play of truly epic proportions but given it an intimate feel. More importantly, given the plot, you never get lost at point during the journey.

Ageing king of Britain Lear decides to step down and split his kingdom evenly among his three daughters. First, however, he tests them by asking each to say how much they love him; which is when the trouble starts.

Make no mistake, this is a tragic tale of love and loyalty and the highs and lows that come with them. But Carrick and her incredibly enjoyable to watch cast mine it for as many laughs as they can without ruining the play’s integrity.

Edward Day has more of these moments than most as Lear and literally plays a hand in bringing the character of the Fool, at times, terrifyingly to life.

The second half is darker, but everybody makes the switch from comedy to tragedy smoothly; making sure both elements remain as balanced as possible.

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Full of the usual musical flourishes audiences have come to expect, there are so many great moments that I can’t share with you because it’d ruin the surprise.

Make sure you don’t miss Lear’s arrival on stage and Cordelia’s reaction to suitor France.

Another great Theatre in the Forest.


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