Posts Tagged: King Lear

Making BEDLAM: Creating a Shakespeare mash-up series

Eric Tucker is an off-Broadway director and Artistic Director of Bedlam Theatre. Musa Gurnis is an early modern theater scholar and actor. When we pitched our Shakespeare mash-up series BEDLAM to streaming networks we joked that we had run out of things to binge watch during the pandemic and so decided to rewrite King Lear…. Continue Reading »


Excerpt: Learwife by J. R. Thorp

Picking up where Shakespeare’s King Lear ends, a new novel imagines the life of Lear’s wife, who in this telling has been banished for 15 years when she receives word of her family members’ deaths. Learwife by J.R. Thorp gives voice to a character who is notably absent from Shakespeare’s tragedy, which focuses on the… Continue Reading »




And so they play their parts: Double-casting Shakespeare’s plays

Double-casting is a theater technique (as opposed to a literary one) that creates a meta-narrative, transforming a large-cast play into a present-tense adventure. Actors swapping costumes and changing roles (and sometimes genders) becomes part of the thrilling ride, and theater’s fundamental artifice becomes its strength. Theater’s very artificiality becomes a feature, not a bug. Shakespeare utilized this trick to both amplify subtext and heighten the drama.


William Charles Macready and the restoration of William Shakespeare’s ‘King Lear’

Imagine a King Lear that cut the character of the Fool, created a romance between Edgar and Cordelia, and featured a happy ending in which Lear and Cordelia both live. That was the most popular version of Shakespeare’s play for more than 150 years, until William Charles Macready’s landmark production in 1838.



The madness of Hamlet and King Lear: When psychiatrists used Shakespeare to argue legal definitions of insanity in the courtroom

Well-known Shakespeare characters such as King Lear and Hamlet suffer (or appear to suffer) from madness — and early American psychiatrists took note. Observations drawn from literature began to bleed into courtroom testimony regarding insanity pleas. “From the mid-1840s through about the mid-1860s in the United States, during the first generation of American psychiatry, no… Continue Reading »


Drawing Shakespeare: King Lear

Artist Paul Glenshaw writes about drawing the bas-relief of King Lear by sculptor John Gregory on the front of the Folger Shakespeare Library building.


Excerpt: ‘Year of the Mad King’ by Antony Sher

What’s it like to play the role of Lear onstage? In this excerpt from Year of the Mad King: The Lear Diaries, actor Antony Sher gives us a window into the rehearsal process for the Royal Shakespeare Company production of King Lear in 2016, directed by Gregory Doran.