The information on: `King Lear'
Wednesday 03 November 1999
Japanese director Yukio Ninagawa's visually arresting yet hollow production of King Lear which fails to recapture his successes in the late-1980s with Macbeth and Medea.
Who's In It?
Nigel Hawthorne (right) lacks intensity as the earlier Lear: the titanic ego, the tearing rage and that sense of Lear as a force of nature are all missing. Excellent actors (Michael Maloney, Sian Thomas and John Carlisle) are left with nothing to fall back on but their own techniques.
What They Say About It
"With every passing production, this director seems a dismayingly shallower artist than the genius we took him to be... Working with a British cast exposes Ninagawa's weaknesses - an evident preference, say, for theatrical effects over character and textual profundity," Paul Taylor, The Independent.
"We're left with a poignant, warm hearted, occasionally even comical Lear, not a majestic savage burning on his invisible `wheel of fire'... The most visually striking revival of Lear needs some sort of volcano at its epicentre - and that, I fear, is wanting," Benedict Nightingale, The Times.
"But Sir Nigel's distracted monarch rarely stoops to the vulgarity of feeling anything intense. Here's a King Lear in mild-mannered miniature, who undertakes no spiritual journey. Hawthorne's monarch is endearingly vulnerable and when reconciled with Cordelia displays a touching,regretful sweetness. But it's not enough," Nicholas de Jongh, Evening Standard.
Where You Can See It
King Lear is at the Barbican, Silk St, London EC2 (0171-638 8891) to 20 Nov
Listen to his collaboration with Naughty Boymusic
Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 2 I might be an MP, but that doesn't stop me fighting sexism with my breasts
- 3 Martha Stewart accuses Snoop Dogg of 'smoking for four hours' during Justin Bieber Roast
- 4 Google April Fools': company unveils backwards search engine and huggable digital assistant
- 5 April Fools' Day 2015: The best hoax news stories from around the internet
Tidal launch: The most pretentious lines from Alicia Keys' valedictory speech
Tidal: Jay Z's Spotify rival criticised for making wealthy artists even richer
Top Gear live to go ahead: Jeremy Clarkson to join Richard Hammond and James May... just don't call it Top Gear
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
James May hints he will not continue on Top Gear without Jeremy Clarkson
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans