by Footfall Theatre and William Shakespeare.
Hope Theatre 207 Upper Street Islington N1 1RL To 20 December 2014.
Runs 1hr No interval.
TICKETS: 0333 666 3366.
Review: William Russell 11 December
Goneril and Reagan are dead?
This fascinating play by the all-female Shakespeare company Footfall theatre takes King Lear, removes all the male characters and focuses on the women, with the Fool translated into the wheelchair-bound, but unseen Lear’s female carer. The result is powerful and rather disturbing.
The language is Shakespeare’s, but the speeches belonging to the men, as appropriate, have been reassigned to the three warring sisters. Given that this is an era with an ageing population, the problem posed by a recalcitrant, declining and ultimately demented Father for his children is certainly topical.
Olivia Emden is a tougher than usual Cordelia, while Charlotte Quinney and Kimberley Jarvis are spectacularly self-centred as the kind of daughters no father deserves to have. Sophie Grant plays the Fool, the sort of carer nobody would wish to have and who suffers an appalling fate staged with dazzling skill and much fake blood.
It is very well performed. The filleting and adapting of the play have been done with skill and it has been cleverly staged by director Isabelle Kettle in this small and tricky theatre. It was a hit on the Fringe at the Edinburgh Festival and deserves its appearance in London.
Cordelia: Olivia Emden.
Regan: Kimberly Jarvis.
Goneril: Charlotte Quinney.
Fool/Musician: Sophie Grant.
Director: Isabelle Kettle.
Designer: Pippa Scarcliffe.
Lighting: Ali Hunter.