Monday, 5 May 2014

King Lear's dementia



The 1908 picture appears on the blog or website of a couple of parishioners’ (most recently that of Rod Collins, who has appeared and informed appearances here a number of times before).  The 2014 parallel is a picture I took very near St Michael’s recently - but I’ve been convinced that the pictures are not taken from the same spot and await time to walk the Freshney and try a couple of other places.

Meanwhile, my own blogging stutters a bit at the moment.  There are some pressing things about which it isn’t appropriate to blog and commentary on some diocesan developments has been restricted by the confidentiality required of a member of the Bishop’s Council (which is something I have become almost by accident) – so some of the usual sources of my commentating have dried up.

Meanwhile, we have been anticipating and enjoying further ‘Live Stream’ events.

The promised walk round the British Museum’s Viking exhibition was a disappointment.  We were introduced to no more than a dozen of the exhibits in the two hours, much of the time being given instead to the presenters emoting and the Museum promoting; at one point a panel of experts solemnly told us how excited they were and then only things like places names ending in ‘–by’ have a Viking origin while the exhibition stood tantalisingly unviewable just behind them.

But the National Theatre’s King Lear was complete, direct and wonderful.  Here the one additional interval talk added huge value – Simon Russell Beale speculating whether Shakespeare knew someone with Lewy Body Dementia.  Having spotted the possibility, he had investigated the condition in preparation for playing the role; sudden aggression and strange hallucinations are both characteristics of it, and his stoop and shuffle were some of the results of this preparation.   

1 comment:

Joy Davis said...

Simon Russell Beale and 'King Lear' both favourites of mine. Had heard of this theory that Shakespeare had drawn on an actual DLB sufferer but not 100% convinced but as it was first discovered in the 1900's it is possible. Interesting post as always