KING LEAR Wyndham’s, London, until 9th December
What a piece of work is Kenneth Branagh! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty! He’s surely the leading Shakespearean actor of our age – the finest since Olivier. As a director, he’s a lot more fallible, and his new rendition of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedy bears this out. King Lear is a tragedy of old age, addressing an age-old problem that’s still pertinent. Fundamentally, it’s the same story as in the recent TV drama Succession: the ageing head of a powerful dynasty tries to hand on his empire to his grown-up children, but he cannot bear to lose control. Unlike Lear, most of us don’t have entire kingdoms to divide among our offspring, but we’ve all witnessed comparable dilemmas, albeit on a more modest scale. Can you pass on your assets to your children, and maintain a say in what they do with them? Must parental love be unconditional...
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