King Lear – 1994

Director Michael G Williamson

‘Striving to better, oft we mar what’s well’

‘The Tragedy of King Lear’ is generally regarded as Shakespeare’s greatest play, written at the height of his powers, and has been described as one of the most profound of all artistic explorations of the human condition. A play that is most deeply concerned with matters of fundamental human importance; with breakdowns in family relationships; with the effect on the human mind of both mental and physical suffering and with what distinguishes man from the animals.

The history of the play has been an erratic one. Originally performed with Richard Burbage in the title role and most probably Robert Armin as the Fool, it was later felt to be unactable. Judging from the records of performances the play generally seems to have been less popular that either Hamlet or Othello but it continued to be performed in roughly its original form until the notorious adaption by Nahum Tate in 1681 which was to become a part of theatrical history.

Of course, there were many ‘improved’ versions of Shakespeare after the Restoration but Tate’s was probably the most significant because it completely changed the ending giving Cordelia a happy future with a heroic Edgar who had earlier saved her from attempted rape and hanging. The final moral that ‘truth and virtue shall succeed’ was completely at variance with Shakespeare’s original concept but nevertheless Tate’s version continued to enjoy popularity for the next 150 years.

Twentieth century productions of King Lear have been much more faithful to the original text and have continued to find relevant contemporary themes to emphasis.
We are very excited to be presenting ‘The Tragedy of King Lear’ for the first time at ‘The George’. We hope that our audiences will enjoy this vibrant and dramatic masterpiece in the kind of setting in which it would originally have been performed.

 

Cast

LEAR, KING OF BRITAIN Kerry O’Connell

GONERILL, HIS ELDEST DAUGHTER Lindsey Brown

REGAN, HIS SECOND DAUGHTER Lena Bell

CORDELIA, HIS YOUNGEST DAUGHTER Victoria Watson

DUKE OF ALBANY, HUSBAND OF GONERILL Charles Looker

DUKE OF CORNWALL, HUSBAND OF REGAN John Shippey

KING OF FRANCE, SUITORS OF CORDELIA Brian Perrett

DUKE OF BURGUNDY Jonathan Brown

EARL OF KENT Adrian Rigelsford

EARL OF GLOUCESTER Michael Storey

EDGAR, HIS SON Bob Pugh

EDMUND, HIS BASTARD SON Sandy Miller

FOOL, TO KING LEAR Dominic Whitehead

OSWALD, STEWARD TO GONERILL Brian Williams

1ST KNIGHT Philip Collins

2ND KNIGHT Dave Brewer

CURAN Peter Hughes

DOCTOR Willie Wilson

OFFICER Peter Barton

CAPTAIN Bob Kretowicz

LADIES/WOMEN SERVANTS Noeline Spridgen, Sarah Green, Julie Worrall, Liz Snowden

Knights of Lear’s train, servants, soldiers, attendants, gentlemen and heralds played by members of the Company

 

Production Team

Director Michael G Williamson

Asst Director Tony Gaskell

Stage Manager Claire Goovaerts

Asst Stage Manager Tanzy Lee

Stage Team Karen Buckley, Denise Jones, Matthew Redman, Douglas Cooper, John Morgan, Maureen Yule, Dee Worwald, Tina Miller

Stage Construction Nigel Callaghan & Team

Set Design Colin Chalk

Poster Design Andrew Goold

Costume Design Wendy Usher

Musical Arrangement and Direction David Marshall

Continuity Vivienne Dyer

Fight Arranger Bob Pugh

Photographs Simon Ellis ABIPP AMPA

Lighting Design Andy Kendon

Lighting Team Roger Blackmore, Malcolm Lyons, Mel Pugsley, Andy Kendon, Darryl Flemming

Sound Design Gerry Davison

Sound Technicians Pat Hamilton, Graeme Hammond, Jamie Wilson

Wardrobe Team Wendy Usher, Mo Pearce, Rosemary Eaton

Make-Up Jan Sheppeard, Kathy Williams & Team

Design & Construction of crowns and coronets Robin Wilson

Properties Rachel Greaves

Publicity Martine Peulevé & Team

Box Office Cheryl Cook, Michael Cook

Front of House & Sales Adam Greaves, Trish James assisted by Committee Members and Friends

Music by The Troubadours Valerie Marshall, John Mallett, Lee Gillett and David Marshall

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *