The Madness of King Lear

The Garage International. 9 Mar 2012.

The Garage International have combined to create an exciting re-imagining of Shakespeare’s classic tale of betrayal and madness. From the very outset the audience knows that what they are about to experience is not your garden variety re-imagining of the Bard’s work.

This production draws widely from disparate performing traditions in order to unravel the key turning points of the narrative. Elements of Indian and Japanese tradition are woven seamlessly into the story with great physicality from dancer, Shakti. These moments of physical dynamism act like the stitching between the more textual ramblings of Lear (Leofric Kigsford-Smith).

Both performers display mastery of their craft. Kingsford-Smith’s voice rises and descends through the text sensitively and his choices are unpredictable and well considered. Shakti moves with great emotionality reflecting the atmosphere of turmoil with tremendous energy and commitment. However when she opens her mouth to speak we sometimes struggle to understand her.

This retracing of the classic text is a little different from your average highlights package in that the company have made no attempt to retell the story of Lear’s decline into madness in a structured coherent way. This is a good thing. Director Ira Seidenstein has rendered the narrative down to the very barest essentials. As a result the experience is visceral, and deeply moving.

Nick Martin

When: Closed
Where: The Garage International @ NACC
Bookings: closed