King Lear: William Shakespeare

King Lear: Shakespeare

★★★

(National Theatre, London, until 2 July 2014)

I’ve been rather blown away by the reaction to my post on The Crucible and am only glad that so many people enjoyed it and found it useful. The secret to successful blogging, clearly, is to name-drop Richard Armitage as often as possible. However, in lieu of any other opportunities to do so, I wanted to write about another of the plays I’ve seen recently: the National’s production of King Lear (directed by Sam Mendes), which is almost at the end of its run.

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Henry IV: Parts 1 and 2: William Shakespeare

Henry IV: Part 1

In the wake of Henry V, I ventured back to the two instalments of The Hollow Crown which I should have watched before: Henry IV Parts 1 and 2. These were entirely new to me: I had never seen them before, either on the stage or on screen, and never read them either. I’ve always felt a little daunted by the history plays in general, and I steered particularly clear of anything with multiple parts (Henry VI Parts 1, 2 and 3 remain to be tackled on a future occasion). As the two plays form two halves of the same story and have the same cast, I wanted to deal with them together – and yet to consider each separately.

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