Sher, Antony. Year of the Mad King: The Lear Diaries. Illus. Antony Sher. London: Nick Hern, 2018.
And now we have the latest (please note that I didn't say "last") of the Antony Sher acting diaries: Year of the Mad King. We've seen Year of the King (for which, q.v.)—the not-mad-but-possibly-psychotic-or-sociopathic king, and we've had Year of the Fat Knight (for which, q.v.). Now it's time for one of the leading Shakespearean actors to tell us his journey to King Lear.
As is the case with all of these—they're diaries, after all—the book has a rambling, unpolished quality, but (as with all of these) it also offers some good insight into the play itself, the role itself, and a leading actor's way of approaching the role itself.
We also get some insight into the director's thought processes—and a greater understanding of just how much a director of the caliber of Gregory Doran has to keep in his mind. And how much a Shakespearean actor of the caliber of Antony Sher has to keep in his mind as well. Can you imagine playing Falstaff while trying to get the lines from Lear memory perfect?
We also have Sher's sketches, including this one of Lear cursing:
It's a good read for the actor, the Shakespearean actor, the Shakespearean aficionado, and the general theatergoer.
Bardfilm is normally written as one word, though it can also be found under a search for "Bard Film Blog." Bardfilm is a Shakespeare blog (admittedly, one of many Shakespeare blogs), and it is dedicated to commentary on films (Shakespeare movies, The Shakespeare Movie, Shakespeare on television, Shakespeare at the cinema), plays, and other matter related to Shakespeare (allusions to Shakespeare in pop culture, quotes from Shakespeare in popular culture, quotations that come from Shakespeare, et cetera).
Unless otherwise indicated, quotations from Shakespeare's works are from the following edition:
Shakespeare, William. The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Gen. ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
All material original to this blog is copyrighted: Copyright 2008-2020 (and into perpetuity thereafter) by Keith Jones.
The very instant that I saw you did / My heart fly to your service; there resides, / To make me slave to it; and, for your sake, / Am I this patient [b]log-man.