British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

Lear

Synopsis
A video recording, using a single, fixed camera, of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s 1983 production of Edward Bond’s play, directed by Barry Kyle with Bob Peck as Lear. ‘In Bond’s play, Lear is a paranoid autocrat, building a wall to keep out imagined "enemies". His daughters Bodice and Fontanelle rebel against him, causing a bloody and atrocity-ridden war. Lear becomes their prisoner and goes on a journey of self-revelation. He is blinded and haunted by the ghost of a Gravedigger’s Boy, whose kindness towards the old King led to his murder. Eventually Lear, after becoming a prophet reminiscent of Leo Tolstoy, makes a gesture towards dismantling the wall he began. This gesture leads to his death, which offers hope as an example of practical activism’. [Wikipedia.com]
Language
English
Country
Great Britain
Medium
Video
Technical information
Colour / Sound
Recording date
1983
Duration
180 mins

Credits

Director
Barry Kyle
Writer
Edward Bond
Music
Ilona Sekacz
Production Design
Kit Surrey
Cast
Bob PeckLear (Lear)
Alice KrigeGravedigger’s Wife
Brenda PetersFarmer’s Wife, Rebel Soldier, Stranger
Brian ParrOrderly, Soldier M, 2nd Workman, Pete
Clive WoodOld Sailor, Prisoner 3, 3rd Workman, Thomas, Wounded Rebel.
David BradleyFiring Squad Officer, Prisoner 4, Stranger
David GloverCommandant Officer, Duke of North, Rebel Soldier
Dennis ClintonOld Councillor, Old Orderly
Ian TalbotDuke of Cornwall, Rebel Soldier, Small Man, Soldier Q and O, Firing Squad Officer
Jenny AgutterFontanelle
John BoweCarpenter, 1st Workman
Mark RylanceDead Worker, Gravedigger’s Boy
Niall PaddenEngineer, Prisoner 2, Soldier F.G and P, Worker
Nigel HarrisonCleric, Lewis, Major Pellet, Soldier D and N, John
Paul WebsterWarington
Penelope BeaumontRebel soldier, Susan
Pete PostlethwaiteSoldier A,H and R, Soldier, Sergeatnt, Spy
Phillip WalshFiring Squad Soldier, Fourth Workman, Boy, Prisoner 1, Usher, Soldier C,I,J and Q
Raymond BowersFarmer, Bishop, Spy, Stranger, Worker
Sara KestelmanBodice
Tom MannionFarmer’s Son, Firing Squad Officer, Soldier B, E and L, Stranger, Engineer

Additional Details

Theatre
Pit, Barbican
Theatre company
Royal Shakespeare Company
Production type
Stage Recordings
Plays
King Lear
Subjects
Drama
Keywords
Shakespeare, William (1564-1616)

Notes

General
First performed at the Royal Court in 1971 with Harry Andrews in the title role.
History
Press night 19 May 1983.

Production Company

Name

Royal Shakespeare Company

Web
https://www.rsc.org.uk External site opens in new window
Address
Royal Shakespeare Theatre
Waterside
Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire
CV37 6BB

Archive

Name

Shakespeare Centre Library and Archive

Email
scla@shakespeare.org.uk
Web
https://www.shakespeare.org.uk/ External site opens in new window
Phone
01789 204016 (bookings)
Fax
01789 262073
Address
Henley Street
Stratford-upon-Avon
CV37 6QW

Record Stats

This record has been viewed 808 times.