March 21st, 2004


A Carolingian Tragedy

We just got home from the Mummers' performance of King Lear, and I'm pleased to say that they acquitted themselves well -- this was a good performance.

Things started a bit slow and rough, but after the first couple of scenes everyone hit their stride. The casting proved apt, and everyone did well: from Christian as a thoroughly (and enjoyably) evil Edmund to the wicked sisters to Pamelina as a very complex and varied Fool, it was all great.

The standouts for me turned out to be hakamadare and learnedax, neither of whom I had known could really act and both of whom were great. hakamadare gave an Oswald who managed to be entirely buffoonish and slimy at the same time: within minutes, you understood why Kent and Edgar both so desperately wanted to kill this guy. (I was especially impressed because the performance was so *completely* unlike his normal demeanor.) And learnedax pretty much stole the show, with an Edgar that was nuanced, complex and heartfelt, swinging between feigned madness and real despair on the turn of a word. He very much became the heart of the story: in a cast of pretty experienced actors, I actually thought he turned in the best performance overall.

Anyway, there's one more performance tomorrow afternoon. If you can make it, I commend it. If you can't, it looks like they were taking the videography very seriously this time, so there is hope for a reasonably good DVD when all is said and done...