Adapted from the 1997 production, director Richard Eyre’s King Lear DVD has a postmodern feel with pared down sets and text to keep the play fast moving. In particular, Lear’s castle is simply a series of rooms furnished in either white or red with matching cloth-covered table and chairs. Each room is connected by maze-like corridors and emphasises how the characters are like labortory rats simply responding to external pressures (in this case, the gods), but the minimalist sets also allow the viewer to concentrate on the performances rather than be distracted by window dressing. Even the map is reduced to a single A4 paper sheet that Lear slams down on a table. Rather than focusing on the ‘darker purpose’ (I.i, line 35) of an arranged ‘marriage for Cordelia’, Sir Ian Holm as Lear hints at the king’s dark nature (Foakes 160).
Lear’s darker side asserts itself when -Continue Reading>