heartspace theatre company @ Masonic Lodge
7:30pm, Sun 24 Feb 2002
Short Review: Good Shakespeare
Ah, Shakespeare. Thou doth quote, and all that. Well, Heartspace Theatre Company (a group of Sacred Heart College Old Scholars and friends) put on a solid, entertaining rendition of the Bard’s work.
In front of a generally young crowd, this interpretation has a distinctly Asian feel – incorporating popular Buddhist mythology in the Hungry Ghosts, which provide an insight into Lear’s psyche during the play. The live music, too, had an Eastern feel.
The director’s notes indicate that the original play has been but by a half, in order to focus on the psychological, rather than political, content of the work. This works well – there is no loss of coherency, and the play progresses at a rapid rate of knots.
The performers were generally good – Merwan Stevens, as Edmund, is exceptional, and Juliette Revell-Nussio and Alice Wagstaff as the sisters Goneril and Regan are deliciously evil – witness the removal of the Earl of Gloucester’s eyeballs, complete with fleshy stuff (fruit) flying across the stage. Ray Begue’s interpretation of Lear is a bit odd, though – at times I thought he was trying to immitate Yoda. The Hungry Ghosts, and the Fool of Joanna Hakendorf, also brought in some comic relief.
In short – competently performed, immensely enjoyable. And it’s Shakespeare. What more needs to be said?