Lear ‘Hits Home’

Looks like the Orlando Shakespeare Festival has a hit on its hands with their new production of “King Lear”.

It’s [Jonathon] Epstein, though, who holds this production in the palm of his hand: From the moment his body begins to fail him, his eyes blaze with light. Epstein’s Lear is an old man afraid of losing everything he has, but afraid most of all of losing his mind. Still, there’s a will of fire inside him that keeps him going, even when his wits falter. When he regain his senses – or gains them, perhaps, for the first time – he’s absolutely grounded, absolutely sane and wise.

There’s nothing kingly about Epstein’s Lear: He’s just a man, and so are all his cohorts in this plain-spoken production. No wonder an absolute quiet among the audience greets this Lear at play’s end. With a story this plain, all you can do is think – and feel.

You can watch a video clip from the show on the Festival’s site.

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