King Lear, Young Company, Stratford Shakespeare Company, Ontario

Stratford Festival Third Stage
May 26 – September 3, 1988

Written by William Shakespeare
Directed by Robin Phillips
Roles: King of France and Servant

Near death, Lear is comforted by his loyal daughter, Cordelia (Melanie Miller), the Earl of Kent (Peter Donaldson), the King of France (Johnny Lee Davenport), and three soldiers. (PHOTO: Stratford Shakespeare Festival)

Critical Response

“If anyone doubts that Robin Phillips is uniquely qualified to be the next artistic director of the Stratford Festival, $17 will lay those doubts to rest. That’s the maximum price of a ticket to King Lear, the Young Company production that opened at the festival’s Third Stage on Saturday . . . . At his best – and this Lear is Phillips in superlative form – no one surpasses him in clarity, in attention and exploration of the text, in investing a long departed and supposedly difficult playwright with real feeling and humanity.

The ensemble work is disciplined and focused. The concept is there and everyone works toward fulfilling it. . . . production values are high. . . . For $17, this intensely moving production is a bargain.”
—Robert Crew, Toronto Star (June 6, 1988)

“William Hutt, who, as guest star, leads Stratford’s Young Company . . . offers an understated, dignified Lear. . . . The actor is ably supported . . . [and his] performance remains dominant, a notable achievement in a salutary Stratford season.”
—Mel Gussow, New York Times (June 14, 1988)

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