Postgraduate students from Staffordshire University were treated to a day away, to sample the cultural delights and watering holes of Liverpool. It proved to be an ideal opportunity to get everyone together, and the focus of the day was Leonora Carrington’s extraordinary exhibition at the Liverpool Tate (just before the show closed at the end of May). Carrington was an all-out surrealist and magical realist – and a highly accomplished writer of short stories and novels – as well as a stunning visual artist, whose work encompasses paintings large and small, prints, sculpture, tapestries, theatre design and – impossible hats.
Staff and students enjoyed Northern Broadside’s production of King Lear at the New Vic theatre last night. Barry Rutter, the company’s actor-manager and driving creative force, took the title role. The production was directed by Jonathan Miller.
The Guardian gave it 5 stars, which I thought a little generous (http://www.theguardian.com/stage/2015/mar/08/king-lear-northern-broadsides-review-jonathan-miller). In comparison with the energy and dynamism of other Broadside’s productions, this one felt static; but perhaps this reflected the sense of transition from the old order, by way of tragic hubris, to the new. Rutter brought touching moments to Lear’s downfall, but lacked the authority of a flawed tyrant at the beginning to give the necessary scale to his descent.
The fantastic story, of familial and political loyalty and conflict, carried the production to its famous conclusion (yes, if you don’t know it, you’ll have to read it or see it).