Review: King Lear at Minerva Theatre, Chichester

Frank Langella as King Lear
Frank Langella as King Lear
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Rarely does one feel so completely involved in the action as in the Minerva, where King Lear is playing.

With the actors so close, where better to experience the pride, vanity and anguish of this marvellous play. A strong cast brings Shakespeare’s text to life with passion and skill.

Legendary actor Frank Langella plays Lear with a beautiful mix of loathsome vanity and touching fragility. He exudes presence, but lacks in diction at times.

Catherine McCormack and Lauren O’Neil are brilliant as scheming sisters Goneril and Regan.

Max Bennett shines as the deceitful Edmund, playfully tossing jests at the audience and sharing his malicious intentions.

A simple yet inventive set makes excellent use of the space, transforming it from a room to a rainstorm. The clamour of battle heard but not seen brings us closer to the blind character sitting on stage. Sadly the sword fights are too much choreography and not enough energy.

Powerful performances all round make a wonderful piece of theatre. It will stay with you long after the applause has ended. Until 30 November.