Kozintsevs KING LEAR

The tale of an ageing monarch
descending into madness

following the division of his kingdom is filtered through a Communist perspective by Russian director Grigori Kozintsev in the latter’s final film.

This monochrome King Lear has an epic sweep, which emphasises the catastrophic impact of feudal misrule upon the country’s starving masses. A commanding title performance by Estonian actor Yuri Yarvet, some striking landscape imagery, and Dmitri Shostakovich’s anguished score help make for a spirited adaptation.

Celebrating the 400th
birthday of Shakespeare,

we find his work as pertinent and globally acclaimed as ever. Our honoured guest and presenter for this evening is is an authority on this topic: David Margolies entered the Shakespeare industry by the back door – he studied the fiction that Shakespeare read before coming to the plays themselves. This gave him a rather different perspective. He is Emeritus Professor of English at Goldsmiths, University of London.

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