Kendall is here

By kendallishere

After Lear

We just saw one of the greatest theatrical events any of us has ever seen in our lives. The Lear moved us all so deeply that we came home emotionally exhausted, though deeply moved. The production was staged in the round, in modern dress, in an intimate theatre. It was so powerfully acted and fast-paced that we barely had time to breathe. The seats Bob got for us were on the second row, and we were literally part of the action, as actors entered and exited, raged and screamed, kissed and died and attacked each other, an arm's reach away from us.

This is what theatre is for. This is the Platonic dream of what theatre should be--language that resonates in our bones, design elements that disappear in serving the script, characters that are families navigating tragedies, betrayals, and greed: like our own families. The three of us were particularly moved by the scenes of loving resolution between fathers and children: Edgar and Gloucester, Cordelia and Lear. Disrupted relationships are healed when estranged fathers who have denied or rejected their children grasp them in their arms, pull them to their hearts, and proclaim their love. The world is set right: just before the final onslaught of death and loss.

We, and so many people we know, have never been taken into our fathers' arms and loved, exactly as we are. It left us exhausted and longing, sad for all those whose fathers have turned their backs on them, all who failed to be and say and do what their fathers wanted of them.

As we age, we see Lear differently. As young people, we thought it was about Cordelia or Edgar and their evil siblings. In middle age we thought it was about Kent and the Fool and their loyalty set against Goneril and Regan and their drive for power and success. Now we see that this play about disintegration of one who is "four-score and upward" is about us.

It was a masterful production, and it made us completely forget the dumbed-down, insipid, grotesque and shallow production of Streetcar that we saw last night. We came home and had to lie down, eat a little chocolate, and reconstitute our molecules.

Thank you for your visits and words, if you leave them. Needless to say, I am not commenting much myself, as my time is all taken up with what we're doing here.

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