Nearly Lear, described by the chairwoman of the Revelstoke Arts Council as funny and powerful, will be performed today, Thursday Nov. 5, at the Roxy Theatre at 7:30 p.m. and, on Friday, for students at RSS.
What is Nearly Lear? Well, according to the website (http://susannahamnett.com/nearly-lear) of its star, Susannah Hamnett it is “the great and tragic story of King Lear as told by his closest companion – his own Fool.
“This is Nearly Lear. Seen through the eyes of Lear’s devoted clown, Norris, the story becomes not only poignant and tragic, but also mischievous, tender and achingly funny.
“Susanna Hamnett plays Norris who, in good Shakespearean tradition, is actually Noreen disguised as a boy. Fiercely devoted to the King and his daughter, Cordelia, Norris/Noreen is devastated by the tragedy that befalls them. Until her father suggests that she go out and share this story with the world. “But Dad – ,” she protests,, “there’s this guy who got there first, he’s written it all down, his name’s Wi – .” “Noreen,” replies her father, “you have just as much right to tell this story as any guy named Wi –. And besides, if he has any good ideas – borrow them. No one will ever know.”
“What follows then, is Norris/Noreen’s telling of the story. Borrowing generously from “that guy William Shakespeare’s” play, and helping herself liberally to his glorious language, she mixes sorrow and concern at the tragic nature of what she has to relate with her own infectious delight at playing out the characters and situations that have been so close to her heart.”
This is new for Revelstoke and Arts Council Chairwoman carol Palladino hopes it will be well attended, and well received.
“I saw a 20 min sound-bite of it in Vancouver,” she said . “It is very, very good: funny and powerful.”
Sounds like a tragi-comedy with strong elements of farce — just the thing to lighten your mood this grey and damp November.