Shakespeare in the Park: Battle of the Bastards


I usually ignore Shakespeare, but on a recommendation from a friend, we decided to go to this outside performance. I have never heard of David Ladderman, but he approached Shakespeare’s king Lear from a completely different angle, switching in and out of character to explain the plot, and all the side plots.

A one man show, which sounded a bit odd, but was utterly brilliant! I do wonder, however, if some of the very specific imagery is fully unrestored by an audience in New Zealand, when the playwrite is actually English.

Prior to the performance there were snippets of other performances happening all around the park, you had to go and wander around and find them all. 

If you get a chance, go see it! 

Scene summary – park scenes in the video

Vengeance, plague, death, confusion
As a storm rages around him, Lear finally realises that he is merely a speck in a vast universe.

Break, heart, I prithee, break
Lear, imprisoned with Cordelia forgives s beloved girl but it is too late, she is dead.

Lear’s shadow
Lear’s fool loves and sees a terrible future for them both.

His poor old eyes
Blinded and heartbroken, Gloucester wanders to his doom.

The puppets part
Kent, Lear’s loyal servant battles it out with Oswld, Goneril’s sycophantic steward.

Prescribe not us our duties
Learns two wicked older daughters Goneril and Regan hatch a plot to destroy their father.

Poor Tom’s a cold
Edgar, Gloucestershire legitimate son is forced to disguise himself as a mad beggar and wear many faces in his quest for anonymity.