I have a confession to make… I was never able to follow the plot of King Lear.
Maybe it’s because I wasn’t old enough before, but I certainly followed this engaging and innovative production by the talented folks at Groundwork Youth Theatre. I actually suspect it has less to do with my advancing years, and more to do with their commitment to storytelling.
A simple set, very well employed; a lighting design that utilised neon paint and UV lights*; and most importantly, perhaps, the hypnotic sounds of Billie Eilish truly made this production shine.
But what really made this performance was Ella McCubbin’s performance of Goneril. Her authority was unquestionable, and she left no doubt in the audience’s minds about who was running the show. She was admirably supported by the whole cast, but especially by Andrew Veale’s Lear, and Cassie Lenne’s Cordelia.
There were, perhaps, some technical hitches, and a little of the momentum was lost in what looked like missed technical cues. These left the impeccable cast hanging more than once, and it was a shame they had not been ironed out in time.
But nothing could undermine the slick design and the deft excision of Shakespeare’s excess verbiage.
A monumental achievement by Groundwork Youth Theatre.
*Yes, I can be distracted by shiny things