A classic text has become contemporary, and in true Shakespearean fashion, is a tragedy with many deaths.
Luckily these deaths only pertain to the characters, as the portrayal of them and the theatre devising was very enjoyable.
In an intimate black box theatre in Brockley, King Lear, played by Alan Booty Edgar, takes the stage and we are introduced to his woes. Thanks to the director and designer James Elsey’s devising, utilizing modern music and costuming, this classic text no longer feels worlds away. I enjoyed the simple yet thought-out stage design as it allowed the imagination to picture every setting in a familiar way, with simply a text on a blackboard on the black wall indicating the location. Minimalistic set allows the cast to move around, and a great example of this is the fight choreography, also directed by James Elsey. It’s moving, aggressive and a with creative use of the space and way of storytelling.
Evangeline Beaven, playing Ada, is delightful to watch performing a Shakespearean text as she seems to understand the words and their meaning, something not always the case for those performing Shakespeare texts.
Jessica Kinsey, playing Cordelia and the Fool, provides depressing comic relief as the fool and the character is humorously, greatly animated. It’s great to see how differently she portrays the two characters.
My favourite part was a simple scene where the Fool and King Lear are travelling in a rainstorm, which is portrayed cleverly and subtly with black paper being blown from the fools hand, sound effects, and light design created by Paul Lennox. It was very effective and moving.
The whole show was very enjoyable and a great comment on the global struggles that we all face. Whether you are familiar with Shakespeare or not, it was easy to follow the story and overall it was a wonderful performance.
Review by Olivia Jannesson
Lear is retiring. He cannot stand in the way of progress. But dividing his vast empire between his daughters comes at a cost. Now he must navigate a treacherous path leading to refuge or madness.
Yard Players present a new interpretation of an epic story of loss, growing old and new beginnings. Set in a criminal world where family ties are stretched thin and business brings blood, we visit the stark reality of an ever divisive dog-eat-dog society.
He’s mad that trusts in the tameness of a wolf.
This production marks the exciting debut of Yard Players, a new company creating vivid, accessible productions of classics.
The Creative Team
Playwright | William Shakespeare
Director | James Eley
Design | James Eley
Lighting Design | Paul Lennox
Producer | Yard Players
The Cast |
King Lear | Alan Booty Edgar | Daniel McCaully
Ada (Edmund) | Evangeline Beaven Cordelia/Fool | Jess Kinsey
Kent | Pete Picton Goneril | Zara Banks
Albany/Oswald | Ben May Regan | Fleur De Wit
Cornwall | David Sayers Gloucester | Christopher Poke
Theatre social media:
Twitter: @BrocJackTheatre Facebook: /brocjacktheatre
Yard Players presents
by William Shakespeare
Tuesday 19 to Saturday 30 March 2019
Brockley Jack Studio Theatre
410 Brockley Road, London, SE4 2DH