"The Oldie is an incredible magazine - perhaps the best magazine in the world right now" Graydon Carter, founder of Air Mail and former Editor of Vanity Fair

Subscribe to the Oldie and get a free cartoon book


Theatre Review - King Lear. By William Cook

Arts | By William Cook

By Gary Wing

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...

I’m afraid this isn’t one of our six free articles available in full, which are set out in the first two rows of the ‘Magazine’ page.
Please click here to find them.

To buy a digital version of this issue for just £1.99, click here