The Folks behind Bard on the Beach were kind enough to invite me to the opening night of King Lear on Saturday. Luckily the Vancouver Sun’s Theatre critic, Peter Birnie, was there to report on the Shakespearean nuances that went over my head.

What’s our first clue that James Fagan Tait has taken King Lear in a decidedly different direction? A new Bard on the Beach production directed by Tait opens at the king’s birthday party, with everyone singing, and instead of a map to indicate how he’ll carve up the kingdom for his three daughters, Lear takes a knife to a chocolate cake with candles on it.

He has arrived by wheelchair. Now set “in the not-too-distant future,” the play’s opening parade of royalty features a gorgeous array of haute couture fashion (designer Mara Gottler has really gone to town this time) dripping with the leather and stiletto heels of 21st-century power and pretension.

If you’re thinking about taking in a show this season, his review is definitely worth a read. The weekend weather cooperated and, as always, the Bard on the Beach stage and Burrard Bridge like set design framed a fabulous view of the water and mountains.

King Lear runs until September 26th at Bard on the Beach in Vanier Park. Tickets are $18 to $33 and you can buy them online here.

Last modified: July 10, 2017

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