King Lear Review Almeida Theatre 2012

  • Our critic's rating:

    What the popular press had to say...

    "Jonathan Pryce... gives a striking, individualistic performance in a carefully considered production directed by Michael Attenborough. It's one, I'd say, that leaves you in a state of quiet admiration rather than swept off your feet."
    Michael Billington for The Guardian

    "In the early scenes of Michael Attenborough’s sometimes stolid production, this Lear seems little more than a vain and testy old buffer when his rage ought to terrify. His horrible curse of Goneril lacks the required venomous intensity, and [Jonathan] Pryce also largely misses the character’s terrible fear of madness...But when Lear’s wits really do begin to turn, Pryce suddenly becomes both thrilling and deeply moving...Not quite a great Lear, then, but my hope and my hunch is that the production will deepen as the run progresses. "
    Charles Spencer for The Daily Telegraph

    "Jonathan Pryce brings an impressive mix of tenderness, quivering insecurity and raw passion to his interpretation of one of Shakespeare’s most exacting roles...This does not strike me as a major production of King Lear – it’s a chamber piece rather than a full-on symphony – and in the final scenes it doesn’t have quite enough weight. But it is a clear-sighted account, and Pryce’s performance is absorbing. "
    Henry Hitchens for The Evening Standard

    "The thing you notice, more than his doming brow, more than his snowy hair and his salt-and-pepper beard, is Mr Pryce’s beautiful verse-speaking. It is not ostentatious. The lines just trip out of him and you can hear them as though for the first time."
    Quentin Letts for The Daily Mail

    "Like Michael Attenborough's carefully charted production, this is an impressive, lucidly pondered portrayal [Jonathan Pryce's Lear]– with tremors of genuinely unsettling danger and disturbance – but you feel that both stop short of the devastating abandon and emotional extremity that the tragedy requires. "
    Paul Taylor for Independent

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