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Rupert Goold's Young Vic "King Lear"

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Rupert Goold's Young Vic "King Lear"#1
Posted: 2/1/11 at 6:41am
I hear a lot of bad things, bad reviews, bad press about Goold's 2008/9 production of "King Lear" which I believed premiered in Liverpool, before moving to London's Young Vic. What was so terrible about this production? If anyone has any memories at all, good or bad, please share! I'm aware that Charlotte Randle's Regan bit Gloucester's eye out and spit it out on the ground.
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Rupert Goold's Young Vic 'King Lear'#2
Posted: 2/1/11 at 9:27am
Nothing was terrible about it - I loved it. I thought Pete Postlethwaite was amazing. As for Charlotte Randall's Eye Moment, it took place directly in front of me and was one of the great shock moments I have experienced in the theatre. She spit it into a water trough, incidentally, not onto the stage. A stagehand duly retrieved it at intermission.
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Rupert Goold's Young Vic 'King Lear'#2
Posted: 2/1/11 at 9:36am
It was a little messy and misguided. It seemed to be a little heavier on concept than characterisation, but it wasn't very easy to tell where the concept was going other than being anti-Thatcher. For me, Lear works best as a family drama, and that just got lost in the '80s somehow.

I think it also came in the midst of a very busy period for Goold; I distinctly remember the late great Postlethwaite complaining that Goold wasn't as focused as Postlethwaite thought he should have been.

As ever though, even a substandard Goold-helmed production is far superior to an evening of dross, and it had some fabulous moments. Regan used her teeth to gouge the eye out of Gloucester's face, with a nasty snapping noise as the blood-pack spurted. She then walked slowly to the front of the stage, and then... well, "spitting" isn't the right word, it's too fast and clean sounding. I want to say gobbed. She *gobbed* the eye out into the water trough. It was incredibly nasty, and that's why it was awesome.
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Rupert Goold's Young Vic 'King Lear'#3
Posted: 2/1/11 at 1:36pm
A bit of a random thread from a new member? I wonder if this is a thread from someone that posts on here regularly, I wonder?

this is a theatre discussion thread, not theatre 'Sim City'.
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Rupert Goold's Young Vic 'King Lear'#4
Posted: 2/1/11 at 2:56pm
Come on, Phantom, how is this a random thread? The guy is asking about a specific production some of us here managed to see. Not sure where your "Sim City" is coming from.
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Rupert Goold's Young Vic 'King Lear'#5
Posted: 2/1/11 at 5:57pm
What a loser...
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Rupert Goold's Young Vic 'King Lear'#6
Posted: 2/2/11 at 2:15am
I wish I saw this production with Pete in it! I saw the Donmar production and LOVED it and the current RSC is such a mess...
Has anyone seen 2 of these above productions? How does it compare to the Young Vic production?
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Rupert Goold's Young Vic 'King Lear'#7
Posted: 2/2/11 at 4:07am
Ten months makes someone a *new* member? Okay, whatever you say... O_o

I have seen all three Lears mentioned in this thread, and the previous RSC one with McKellen to boot (although I don't remember it as well as I'd like Rupert Goold's Young Vic 'King Lear' ).

It's interesting actually; in some ways, the current RSC production and the Young Vic production are polar opposites. All the ingredients for the RSC production are right, but they just haven't gelled together into one cohesive whole. Katy Stephens as Regan! Darrel D'Silva as Kent! Geoffrey Freshwater as Gloucester! David Farr at the helm! Jons Bausor and Clark creating a world about to collapse into pieces! I don't really understand why such a great cast and such a great creative team just haven't worked for such a great play, apart from the rather nebulous excuse of "they just didn't gel". The pace wasn't great either I suppose, and there was more Foolery than I'd like.

Whereas the ingredients of the Young Vic production were muddled and confused and shouldn't have worked at all, but if you were willing to overlook them, there was some great stuff to be found. I guess it helps that John Shrapnel was involved, he always improves the quality of every play he's in even if he's just standing silently at the back for the whole thing. XD There were a few pretty great individual performances actually, Forbes Masson's Fool was a horrible grotesque, which worked better for me than the more traditional way of playing it, and Jonjo O'Neill had the most important quality for an Edmund and was actually charismatic! (Seriously, why are there so few charismatic Edmunds? O_o)

And the Donmar Warehouse production, in my oh-so humble opinion, is perfect in every single way. <3 <3 <3
Updated On: 2/2/11 at 04:07 AM
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Rupert Goold's Young Vic 'King Lear'#8
Posted: 2/2/11 at 4:58am
Didn't know Jonjo had played Edmund. Can imagine that. Fine line between his kind of humour (as in Mercutio) and being incredibly sinister, I can imagine he'd do it well.

re: Geoffrey Freshwater, he is good as Gloucester, right? He might be the only reason I'm going next month...
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Rupert Goold's Young Vic 'King Lear'#9
Posted: 2/2/11 at 7:57am
I can't wait to see Jacobi's Lear!

The Postlethwaite production suffered, I feel, from the same problem as the Stewart 'Macbeth' (onstage): a few headline ideas which were great, but a lot that was just rushed over. A director has to know the whole play, not the greatest hits, otherwise you end up with an incoherent production overall.

Must get round to seeing the RSC production- I love a lavish show! Just hope it makes sense, too...
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Rupert Goold's Young Vic 'King Lear'#10
Posted: 2/2/11 at 1:15pm
After seeing the current RSC version and the DVD version with McKellan... I think Donmar's really perfection for me. I mean Gina McKee can do an evil bitch face like no one else... that look from her... pure evilness! I thought as a whole, it was stripped down and really focused on the action and words. And watching this and the RSC production back to back only showed how much more details have been put into the direction of the play! Sad Grandage is leaving Rupert Goold's Young Vic 'King Lear'
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