Royal Conservatoire of Scotland,
Wednesday 11th March
It may at first, seem madness to play King Lear with an all female cast, but the play is all about insanity, subversion and topsy turvy, so why not. Just days after International Womens’ Day, the choice seemed not so much crazy, as inspired, and radical, and how those women owned that stage. King Lear, played by Kristin Morris, was stunning in her descent into the depths of bedlam and despair, made real as her symbols of regality were stripped back layer by layer. The stage setting was in the round, with a floor size chess board the main focal point with only a couple of chairs as props. The two greedy daughters portrayed by Francesca Isherwood and Tori Burgess were stunning in ruby red lipstick and air hostess trimness, working their vile schemes off against Ross French (Cordelia) and Lear, whilst the plot within the plot of Gloster (Helen Katamba), and his mistaken trust of blond, bastard, Edmund (Claire Winkleblack) against his true born son Edgar (Nicole Goeden), provided the mirror in which to explore themes of empathy, treachery and loyalty.
Lear is pantomime-noir with even a Fool and two gorgeous ‘ugly sisters’, only Cordelia doesn’t get to keep Prince Charming (France), and there is no happy ever after, it’s all death, gloom and despair a bit like real life, with only Kent played by Davina Leonard and Edmund still alive on the stage, even the fickle Oswald (Zoe Danahy), has been murdered earlier. Well worth going to see, only don’t bring your own black dog, it will be provided. FOUR STARS