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For his birthday Max's parents came up for the weekend and took us to see King Lear at the The Old Vic Theatre. I had only seen the Old Vic (only a 13 minute train ride to Waterloo for us now) from the outside before, but the interior was stunning and the theatre itself was ornate. Some critics had complained that the set design was too sparse. I love detailed sets, but I think I preferred the simplicity of this one - It centred the focus onto the actors. Timothy West played the part of King Lear and his performance was captivating. Seeing a tragedy like King Lear performed in person by some of the best Shakespearean actors in the world made me feel it intensely and I think it will stay with me for quite some time.

After the play we caught one of the last trains home and had a late birthday dinner at around 11:30pm. We bought a bunch of take-out Thai and Chinese food (my favorite was the crispy duck and spring onion pancake rolls with hoisin sauce) then we ate the key lime pie I made and chocolate cake Max's mum baked.

Ford Madox Brown. Cordelia's Portion, 1866.

William Dyce. King Lear and the Fool in the Storm, c. 1851.

Benjamin West. King Lear in the Storm, 1788.

William Blake. Lear and Cordelia in Prison, c. 1778-80

Marcus Stone. Lear and Cordelia.

Ford Madox Brown. Lear and Cordelia, 1848-49.

J. Franklin. The Death of Cordelia, 1850.

James Barry. King Lear Weeping over the Dead Body of Cordelia, 1786-8.

Howl, howl, howl, howl! O, you are men of stones:
Had I your tongues and eyes, I'ld use them so
That heaven's vault should crack. She's gone for ever!
I know when one is dead, and when one lives;
She's dead as earth. Lend me a looking-glass;
If that her breath will mist or stain the stone,
Why, then she lives.

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On March 25th, 2003 08:49 am (UTC), xhappyx commented:
I think the sparse set looks nice. It is not distracting from the actual events that take place on the stage. Sounds like you had a great time.
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On March 27th, 2003 03:08 am (UTC), nomi replied:
I think sparse sets are a good idea with Shakespeare since it requires paying close attention to what is being said.
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On March 25th, 2003 03:51 pm (UTC), mercuryglare commented:
in london?
at the old vic?

oh, I am *so* jealous. you are a lucky girl indeed.
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On March 27th, 2003 03:11 am (UTC), nomi replied:
I was so impressed with the performance. Now I just need to see a Shakepseare play at The Globe Theatre or Stratford-upon-Avon. :)
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