King Lear is a difficult play for me. I’ve seen several productions and none of them have wholly clicked for me, although several have come close, not least the recent RSC production in Stratford.
Sadly, this King Lear is not one of those productions. Directed by Deborah Warner, it stars Glenda Jackson, newly out of retirement, and in fairness her performance is probably the best thing about the production, being nuanced, strong and at the same time full of frailty. I wasn’t hugely convinced by any of the other performances, though it didn’t help that Lear’s daughters looked more like grandmother, mother and granddaughter than three sisters. Nothing about the production really grabbed me: the staging was bland and uninspired, except for the storm scene which really was quite impressive.
Sometimes it’s the productions we look forward to the most that are the most disappointing. Sadly, that was the case here.