King Lear Productions

Folio version (F1) 1623 more nihilistic: no justice, e.g. no mock trial
1962 RSC (dir. Peter Brook) austerity, pain, brute instincts: cuts Edmund’s redemption and servant’s intervention
1971 King Lear film (dir. Peter Brook) bleak winter landscape, rarely visible sun, nihilistic, inspired by Jan Kott, epic tragedy
Nahum Tate 1681 re-write of play with happy ending: Cordelia and Edgar marry, Gloucester and Lear happily survive
1983 King Lear TV (dir. Michael Elliot) redemptive vision, very moving reconciliation between Lear and Cordelia
King George III (1810-20) performances suspended as the play was too personal under derangement of ___
1971 Korol Lir film Fool survives beyond Act III – timeless figure beyond ruling class games
1983 King Lear TV (dir. Michael Elliot) The Fool speaks to Lear from behind is throne (nagging conscience)
1983 King Lear TV (dir. Michael Elliot) Lear howls like a wounded animal when carrying Cordelia’s body – man reeling back to beast
2014 National Theatre (dir. Sam Mendes) emphasises madness – mad Lear imagines Fool to be Goneril and beats him to death
1971 Korol Lir film emphasises rulers’ disconnection from masses: cast of thousands, Lear imperious and god-like
1998 National Theatre (dir. Richard Eyre) Lear angry and impetuous, red stage with characters in black, colours pale as Lear becomes less powerful
2007 RSC (dir. Trevor Nunn): Lear initially bathed in light (Emperor)
2009 Young Vic (dir. Rupert Goold) Lear’s abdication is a party, Love Test is a means of humiliating daughters
2013 (dir. Michael Attenborough) Lear played as a villain (incest): abuse of power at all levels, political and familial
2014 National Theatre (dir. Sam Mendes) Stalinist regime (totalitarian Lear)
1971 Korol Lir film Cordelia presented as an angel of mercy
1995 (dir. Jude Kelly) Regan deranged after Cornwall’s death (keeps his corpse to look at it)
2007 RSC (dir. Trevor Nunn) Cordelia strong-minded rather than angelic, Goneril angry yet vulnerable, Regan is a submissive wife/daughter who sadistically delights in treatment of Kent + Gloucester
2009 Young Vic (dir. Rupert Goold) Goneril pregnant (disturbing Lear curses) and is justifiably angry (Lear’s men are hooligans)
2009 Young Vic (dir. Rupert Goold) gruesome blinding of Gloucester: Cornwall stamps out eye, Reagan seductively pushes long nail in then bites it out)
2009 Young Vic (dir. Rupert Goold) explicitly sexual relationship between Edmund and Goneril
2009 Young Vic (dir. Rupert Goold) Cordelia returns in white – messiah figure
2013 (dir. Michael Attenborough) insinuates Goneril and Regan had been sexually abused, and Cordelia being groomed as his next victim
1982 RSC (dir. Adrian Noble) implies dependent classes have always been treated poorly by ruling classes – political inadequacy manifests itself as destruction
1993 RSC (dir. Adrian Noble) map of Britain getting scuffed and ripped to show disintegration of Kingdom
2013 (dir. Angus Jackson) wooden slats being ripped away, torn away completely in storm scene
Nahum Tate 1681 cut Edmund’s redemption and only called him ‘bastard’

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