I had my first taste of Shakespeare’s King Lear last night at the New Vic theatre near where I live. It was produced by the Northern Broadsides company with Brian Rutter OBE at the helm in the title role. Directed by the outstanding Jonathan Miller it was a brilliant performance by all. There were quite a few familiar faces in the cast who I had seen in various other media ventures, either cinema or tv which added to the enjoyment of the event.
Ever since I was introduced to Shakespeare’s work back in my school days, I have been fascinated and confused in equal measure. Fascinated by his story telling of complex personal issues that are just as relevant today as they were when he wrote them centuries ago, and confused by the language he used. I know it was the language of the day which he helped to establish as the language of the day. He alone is responsible for inventing more phrases used still today than any other writer in history, and except for the writers of the Bible, he is the most quoted writer in English. His writing was very stylised and I think this is what I struggled with the most. His use of the English language was a virtuoso performance which fascinated me, that the language I used every day and took for granted, could be used to paint such verbal pictures so eloquently, totally amazed me.
As a writer I have no pretentions of anything so lofty as the heights that Shakespeare was able to reach with such ease but I try. I have no allusions of literary genius, I write simple stories that I aim to entertain, nothing more and nothing less. My aim is simple and if I achieve it I am happy. it does ne good though to visit the theatre and watch Shakespeare being performed for it illustrates what can be achieved when if you set your mind to it.
See you soon,