Performance Review: A Lear to love without the need of sound effects – The Post

Performance Review: A Lear to love without the need of sound effects

★★★★★☆

As the rain pelted down, it was an unforgettable evening (photos: hamletscenen.dk)
August 19th, 2019 5:05 pm| by Ester Rose

In light rain as most of the audience sat in plastic ponchos, this performance was truly one to remember!

Weather: ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer!
After all, enduring the weather is part of the charm of the Shakespeare Festival. Drinking hot coffee whilst wrapped up in a soft blanket and the aforementioned poncho, I felt totally shielded from the wind and rain – and totally cosy.

Knowing how changeable and annoying the Danish weather can be, it’s a brave move staging a play outdoors, but in this case conditions that “blow, winds, and crack your cheeks” definitely brought an added sense of gloom to the sad story of Shakespeare’s ‘King Lear’.  If anything, it added to the experience – for the audience anyway.

Nevertheless, it was tough-going for the actors, and the show was paused midway when the rain got too heavy.

At one point one of the male actors delivered a dramatic breakdance sequence on a perilously wet stage, which he must have practised in the rain, because he was amazing!

Shakespeare’s choice
Song theatre specialists Song of the Goat Theatre from the Polish city of Wroclaw performed an adaptation of the Shakespearean tragedy as guest artists at the Shakespeare Festival in Helsingør.

The performance was directed by Bral Gregorz, the music composed by Jean-Claude Acquaviva and Maciej Rychly, and the play produced by Alicja Bral.

Via a series of emotionally-charged songs, the 14 actors sang out key moments of the play.

And once again Kronborg Castle shone as a backdrop, bringing poignancy and sentiment to the proceedings. In every conceivable way it’s an incredible fit – no wonder the Bard chose to bring the castle into his universe.

Love me
The songs of the sisters brought successfully home the difference in character between the siblings as well as their struggle and sadness.

The story was felt more than it was told, as most of the lyrics were sung in Coptic, a dead language from Egypt.

It allowed the instruments to come to the forefront – especially the drums and bagpipes, which rendered a deeply dramatic sound.

Songs of Lear


August 14-15; Kronborg Castle, Helsingør; hamletscenen.dk