Out Loud’s King Lear Showcases Incredible Performances

Having been to a few Out Loud productions, I knew to expect something … different for King Lear, and director Kira Hawkridge did not disappoint! You walk into the space and you’re no longer on Mathewson Street — you are in an old carnival with the lights, the music, the popcorn, the performers warming up the crowd. It was delightful. Of course that’s a total juxtaposition from Shakespeare’s tragedy, but it works. This production has been talked about for two years, so it is impossible to say that barring a crystal ball, Hawkridge could have had any indication of what today’s political climate would be. However, with that climate in mind, a carnival with a hubris-wielding king makes total sense. If one did not know better, you would think it’s a direct commentary on today’s events. It isn’t, but it’s another display of how timeless Shakespeare really is.

Out Loud has a tendency to attract great performers, and this show is no different. There was not a weak performance in the ensemble. And of course there isn’t room to mention everyone, so please forgive me for not doing so. I have to begin with the title character, King Lear, played by Alan Hawkridge. Alan is always fantastic on stage, but this was hands-down the greatest performance I have ever seen him in. Natasha Cole’s Cordelia was phenomenal, as were her sisters Ottavia De Luca and Siobhan LaPorte-Cauley, who played Goneril and Regan respectively.  

Out Loud describes their audience members as participants, and in this show, the audience goes on a journey with the actors as their seats move constantly, signifying both Lear’s breakdown and his journey.

And another nod to Kira as she not only directed this piece sublimely, but had an amazing vision for the costumes.

The run of the show is sold out, so ask to be put on the waiting list by emailing boxofficeoutloudtheatre@gmail.com.  King Lear runs thru Dec 3.

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