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King Lear, NTLive Preview

”Ian McKellan reigns supreme in this triumphant production”. (Evening Standard)

Sir Ian McKellan, one of England’s greatest-ever actors, was born in Burnley, Lancashire in May 1939. He is, therefore, ideally qualified age-wise to play Shakespeare’s ageing king, who’s about to abdicate and thus set in train a cruel and calamitous train of events. I saw him undertake the role some years ago and wasn’t convinced that I saw Sir Ian at his best. Happily, his current assumption of the role in London’s West End is being hailed as a triumph. After so many years as a great of Stage, Screen, Radio and Television, I believe we have a treat in store at SGC. He is an actor I have seen live in the theatre on quite a few occasions and he rarely fails to excel. The review quoted at the head of this piece is representative of many such favourable assessments of the production.

The great Shakespearean scholar, A C Bradley, wrote:- “’King Lear’ has been described as Shakespeare’s greatest work, the best of his plays, the tragedy in which he exhibits most fully his multitudinous powers; and if we were doomed to lose all his tragedies except one, probably the majority of those who love him best would pronounce for keeping ‘King Lear’”. Late in his life, Richard Burton said that one of his great regrets was that he would never play Lear; it’s a tumultuous role demanding energy and the physical strength to carry his daughter, Cordelia. Lear is the Everest for actors who continue to act in later years.

‘King Lear’ can, in a good production, provide a memorable evening’s theatre that asks questions about human nature like no other play I know of. It has suffering, evil, reconciliations, cruelty, one of drama’s loveliest creations, Cordelia, and one of its great villains, Edmund –  along with some of the most magical poetry ever written. No one should lightly pass up a chance to see this towering play.

Shakespeare, the great poet/dramatist, has been on a pedestal for four centuries:- “He was not of an age but for all time”: (Ben Jonson, 1573 – 1637); “He was the man who of all the modern, and perhaps ancient poets, had the largest and most comprehensive soul”: (John Dryden, 1631 – 1700); “Our myriad-minded Shakespeare”: (Samel Taylor Coleridge, 1772 – 1834); and “Shakespeare, the nearest thing in incarnation to the eye of God”: (Sir Laurence Olivier, 1907 – 1989). For many, he is the world’s greatest dramatist who has created some of the greatest roles. Hamlet, Lear, Macbeth, Othello, Falstaff, Coriolanus, Iago and Prospero amongst the men; Lady Macbeth, Rosalind, Cleopatra, Portia,, Juliet, Desdemona, Viola, Volumnia and Olivia are marvellous females.

‘King Lear’ is seen by some as one of the great dramas of world literature and its author’s masterpiece. Such was the fascination it held for the composer, Guiseppe Verdi, that he expended more energy and thought on a ‘Lear’ opera (which never materialised) than on any of his operas. Shelley, described it as “the most perfect specimen of the dramatic art existing in the world”. A couple of centuries ago, that supreme essayist, Charles Lamb, dismissed it as the story of “an old man tottering about the stage with a walking-stick, turned out of doors by his daughters on a rainy night … The Lear of Shakespeare cannot be acted” – Lamb was wrong; it has had many memorable productions.

The plots centre around King Lear and the Duke of Gloucester; Lear’s experiences with his daughters has parallels with Gloucester’s dealings with his sons. Lear, a king in ancient Britain is over eighty years of age, and is about to abdicate. He sets up a ludicrous love test to see which of his three daughters loves him most. He rewards the flattering praise of his two eldest, Goneril and Regan. When the youngest, his favourite, Cordelia, refuses to compete in this charade, he becomes enraged, banishes her and divides her third of the kingdom between the other two.

To  In a rage at his humiliating treatment by his daughters and their servants, Lear rushes out on the stormy, rain-lashed heath where he learns about the worthlessness of worldly power. Meanwhile, the Earl of Gloucester is at the centre of a massive deception. His illegitimate son, Edmund, a ruthless, villain, convinces him that his loyal son, Edgar, is intent on killing his father. Edgar is hunted from court, and wanders around disguised as a naked beggar. The outcome for virtually all concerned is “cheerless, dark and deadly”.

Robert Eager wrote:- “Here is a family tragedy in which fathers are set against children, children against their fathers, brother against brother, sister against sister. It is a story of bitterness, jealousy, hatred, revenge and betrayal. It is about vanity, deceit and death. Opposed to all this nastiness are the virtues of love, loyalty, honesty and compassion”.  This drama of a dictatorial, petty old man deluded by the trappings of power, has scenes of elemental and terrible power. Lear on the heath, Gloucester’s savage punishment and the remorse of a chastened Lear, cognisant of his tragic errors; these are scenes that haunt the imagination. It is arguably Shakespeare’s most memorable tragedy.

‘King Lear’ is a play of redemption through suffering and the attainment of self-knowledge. In 1681, Nahum Tate, rewrote ‘King Lear’ giving it a happy ending, Lear is restored to his throne, Cordelia marries Edgar and all is well. Today we treasure the play as Shakespeare wrote it. ‘King Lear’ live from the National with the great Sir Ian –  miss it at your peril!

[Fogra: The three Oscar Wilde comedies by the Classic Spring Theatre Company that we’ve seen of late at SGC have been, for me, bordering on perfection. Thus, Dominic Dromgoole’s production of “The Importance of being Earnest” on Tuesday, October 9th, bids fair to be one of our 2018 highlights. Put it in your diary!]

Jim Ryan

 

Sir Ian McKellan as ‘King Lear’, NTLive. Broadcast here live Thurs, Sept 27 @ 7PM. Take a look at the preview.

 

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Léirmheas The Predator

Tá an tsraith ‘Predator’ ar ais le athchóiriú na clasaiceach a thosaigh i 1987. Stiúir Shane Black an scannán ficsean eolaíochta seo agus scríobh sé an script chomh maith le Fred Dekker. Is iad Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Jacob Tremblay, Keegan-Michael Key, Olivia Munn, Thomas Jane, Alfie Allen, agus Sterling K. Brown na príomhcharactair sa scannán agus bhí ról caimeo ag Shane Black anuas ar bheith ina stiúirtheoir.

Buíochas leis na trí uasghrádú géiniteach, tá na sealgairí is marfaí sa domhan ar ais níos láidre, níos cliste agus níos measa ná riamh. Sa scannán seo, tógtar an fiach as an spás amuigh go dtí na bruachbhailte mar gheall ar bhuachaill óg. Braitheann todhchaí an domhain ar ghrúpa d’iar-shaighdiúirí agus ar bhitheolaí éabhlóideach.

Níl aon dabht ach go bhfuil an scannán seo saghas difriúil ón na scannáin eile mar tá sé greannmhar chomh maith leis an aicsean. Tá go leor gnéithe den scannán go maith ach uaireanta, chuir an meascán de ghreann agus dáiríreacht mearbhall orm. Ach é sin ráite, tá go leor pointí maith ag an scannán, le plota suimiúil, éifeachtaí fhísiúil den scoth agus go leor aicsin.

Tamara Ní Shíocháin

Ráta 3/5

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Léirmheas Black 47

Níl aon dabht ach go raibh 1847 an bhliain is measa i stair na hÉireann agus faoi dheireadh, 170 bliain ina dhiaidh sin, rinneadh an chéad scannán faoin Gorta Mór. Cuireadh Black 47 amach i bpictiúrlanna in Éirinn an tseachtain seo. Bhí sé stiúrtha ag Lance Daly agus tá aisteoirí iontacha sa scannán freisin idir na haisteoirí idirnáisiúnta agus na hÉireannaigh.

Bhí Martin Feeney (James Frecheville) ag troid leis an arm na Breataine in Afganastáin agus nuair a thánaig sé ar ais go dtí Conamara, bhí gach mac máthar imithe (fuair siad bás den ocras nó bhog said go Meiriceá), a chlann san áireamh. Thug Feeney faoi deara gur bhain roinnt daoine Éireannacha tairbhe as an nGorta mar bhí said ag obair leis na Briotanaigh. Sa scannán, tá sé ag iarraidh díoltas a bhaint amach ach ag an am céanna tá sé ag iarraidh pionós a sheachaint mar thréigh sé an arm.

Is rud an-tábhachtach í an Ghaeilge sa scannán mar úsaidtear an Ghaeilge chun idirdhealú a dhéanamh idir na daoine a bhí ag fulaingt agus na daoine a bhí ag baint tairbhe as an nGorta. Ina theannta sin, is léir go ndearna siad a lán taighde mar go raibh go leor fíricí stairiúla ann. Ach ó am go chéile, tá sé soiléir nach raibh buiséad an-mhór acu go háirithe sna radhairc trodaireachta. Ach é sin ráite, is é an chéad scannán faoin Gorta Mór, bhí an aisteoireacht thar barr agus bhí an cineamatagrafaíocht an-éifeachtach.

 

Tamara Ní Shíocháin

Ráta: 4/5BOOK NOW

Leirmheas The Meg

Tá Jason Statham mar an carachtair Jonas Taylor a bhfuil ina tumadóir domhainfharraige a bhí ar scor ach anois tá a iarbhean chéile i dainséar go domhain faoi uisce. Mar sin tá air dul ar misean í a shábháil. Ach bhí níos measa fós le teacht. Tá siorc mór millteach réamhstairiúil ag fánaíocht an fharraige. Níl mórán le plota an scannán seo seachas an siorc ag bhaint ghreim as gach uile rud agus duine ina mbealach. Tá foireann ann ag iarradh an siorc a stopadh sula mbeidh ródhéanach. Tá orthu obair le chéile ríomh a bhíonn an domhain ina cíor thuathail. . Li Bingbing iontach mar an carachtair Suyin, fásann an caidreamh idir an bheirt. Cuireann an chaidreamh go mhór le daonnacht an scannán. Is léir go baineadh geit asat ag breathnú ar an scannán seo, mar go bhfuil na íomhánna den siorc comh réadúil sin! Bailigh do chairde le chéile agus breathnaigh ar an scannán gníomhach seo.

2.5/5

Claire Ní Neachtain

Shakespeare’s “The Merry Wives of Windsor” PREVIEW

NT LIVE, Wed, Sept 12 @ 7pm.

Ablaze with energy … a delight”; (The Independent): “Giggles galore”; (The Times)

“The Merry Wives”, while it’s never acclaimed by Professors, is one of its authors most popular and most performed plays. It’s also one of the most often filmed (in varying adaptations) of his plays. It’s Shakespeare having some fun and its knockabout comedy has made it ever-loved. There are many ways to acquire money, and Falstaff hits upon a very neat device – in straitened times, he decides to seduce the wives of two wealthy husbands as his means of succour.

In his two King Henry 4th plays, William Shakespeare created Falstaff, one of the greatest comic creations in all drama – a character who, it has been maintained, is more alive than many real life people could ever be. The fat knight is a “lovable rogue”, an indefatigable source of endless wit, mischief and good humour in adversity. Mistress Quickly’s description of his death (in “Henry the Fifth”) is one of the most beautiful and poignant in all literature. For many of us, Orson Welles’ black and white film based, “Chimes at Midnight”, based on the rascally, fat old knight, is one of the glories of the cinematic art.

Legend has it that Queen Elizabeth 1, having seen the King Henry 4th plays and having delighted in the ageing knight’s antics, asked Shakespeare to write a comedy around his further exploits – if true, she must have been a mere Princess at the time because all the evidence suggests that the earlier plays were written between 1596 and 1598 and “The Merry Wives” in the years before the turn of the century; and, of course, she didn’t accede to the throne till 1603.We know that she saw the play performed, in 1597.

This hilarious comedy, its author’s only domestic comedy, is the most laugh-out-loud of all his plays – Shakespeare having some fun, in this case at Falstaff’s expense. He had promised something along these lines in the prologue at the end of “King Henry the Fourth: Part Two” but omitted the fat reprobate in the succeeding play. But it must be said that the Falstaff in “Merry Wives” is only a pale shadow of his previous selves.

In the play, convinced that no woman could resist his charms, woos two prosperous married women, Mistresses Ford and Page, and sends them identical letters. They ‘compare notes’ and decide to arrange separate assignations with him so as to humiliate him. Ford, on learning of Falstaff’s attempted adultery with Mistress Ford, goes to him in disguise and pretends that he seeks a liaison with the same woman (his wife). Falstaff tells him of his own plans to meet her. It all ends badly for the would-be seducer and he makes his escape in a laundry basket, later to be dumped ignominiously in the Thames. There are also many episodes around the many suitors trying to win Miss Anne Page and it all amounts to Shakespeare’s happiest play.

But “all’s well that ends well’ and at the end all, including the put-upon hero, are happy. All is forgiven. It has all been a sport. From the famed RSC, it should leave us clutching our sides in laughter. A great author, a marvellous play, a world-famous company and all Live at SGC – what more could any theatre-lover ask for!

[Fogra: My favourite Puccini opera, “La Boheme”, recorded at one of the world’s most spectacular venues, Sydney Harbour, is being screened at SGC on Thurs, Sept 13th at 7pm. It should be a great event for opera lovers.]      (Jim Ryan).

 

Learmhais Christopher Robin

Bhí cliú agus cáil ar Winnie the Pooh ar fud an domhain agus cuimhníonn a lán daoine Christopher Robin mar an páiste a d’imir leis an mbéar sa “Hundred Acre Wood”. Bhí an scannán stiúrtha ag Marc Forster agus scríofa ag Alex Ross Perry ón scéal a bhí scríofa ag Greg Brooker agus Mark Steven Johnson. Ach, tá an scannán seo difriúil mar is é an chéad uair atá na carachtair cáiliúil sa scannán “live-action” ar an scáileán mór. Is iad Ewan McGregor agus Hayley Atwell na príomhaisteoirí agus guthaigh Jim Cummings agus Brad Garrett na príomhcharachtair.Sa scannán feicimid Christopher Robin agus é fásta suas. Is léir gur chaill sé a shamhlaíocht ach nuair a bhuail sé le Winnie the Pooh gan choinne, athríonn é sin. Chaill Pooh a chairde (Tigger, Eeyore, Piglet, Owl, Rabbit, Kanga agus Roo) agus téigh sé ar ais go dtí an “Hundred Acre Wood” le Christopher Robin chun iad a fháil. Nuair a bhíonn siad go léir le chéile arís, téann said go Londain agus taispeánann siad na rudaí atá tábhachtach sa saol do Christopher.Is léamh áilinn ar an gclasaic é an scannán seo, gan dabht. Rud amháin nár mhaith liom ná go raibh an chuid is mó den am scáileáin ag baint le Christopher Robin, Pooh agus Tigger. Bheadh sé go deas chun níos mó faoi na charactair eile a fheiceáíl ach é sin ráite, tá na trí charactar sin go hiontach agus mar sin, ní raibh sé go leor chun é a mhilleadh. Is scannán iontach é do theaghlaigh, gan dabht ar bith.

Ráta 4.5/5

Tamara Ní Shíocháin

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Learmhais Skyscraper

Beidh an réalta scannán Dwayne Johnson ag filleadh ar ais go dtí pictiúrlanna sa scannán Skyscraper. Is scannán gníomhach ó Mheiriceá é Skyscraper atá scríofa agus stiúrtha ag Rawson Marshall ThurberIt. Ina theannta sin, is iad Dwayne Johnson, Chin Han, Roland Møller, Noah Taylor, Byron Mann, Pablo Schreiber, agus Hannah Quinlivan na príomhaisteoirí sa scannán seo.Ba gníomhaire FBI é Will Sawyer (Johnson) ach anois is measúnóir slándála é san ilstórach spéire is airde ar domhan. Mar gheall ar sin, cónaíonn sé san ilstórach spéire sin. Dar le daoine eile, tá an foirgneamh i gceist an-sábháilte agus ní bheadh aon duine ábalta briseadh isteach ach ar an ndrochuair níl Will cinnte. Nuair a tharlaíonn ionsaí sceimhlitheoireachta, tá clann Sawyer i bponc mar tá siad gafa ar an 96ú hurlár agus tá an foirgneamh trí thine. Tá rudaí níos measa arís nuair a chuirtear an milleán ar Sawyer as an ionsaí.Ina theannta sin, ní raibh Neeve Campbell ar an scáileán mór ó 2011 nuair a chríocnaigh na scannáin “Scream” agus tá sí ar ais anois. Tá a lán gnéithe neamhréadúla sa scannán ach is scannán maith é ar aon nós. Tá Skyscraper ar cheann de na cúpla scannán amach i mbliana nach dtáinig sé as scannán eile, seó teilifíse nó cluiche físeáin agus is fiú é a fheiceáil mar gheall ar sin, gan dabht.

Rátáil 3/5

Tamara Ní ShíocháinBook Now

 

Learmhais Adrift

Mí Meán Fómhair, 1983 thosaigh Tami agus a fiancé Richard turas mór fada 4,000 míle ó Tahiti go San Diego. Leath bhealach tríd an tAigéan Ciúin buaileann siad le hairicín Raymond, stoirm thrópaiceach a bhí ar an mbealach ar feadh cúpla seachtain. Tá an bheirt acu gortaithe agus chuaigh Richard thar bord le linn an stoirm. Creideann Tami go bhfeiceann sí Richard ar snámh ar rafta, úsáideann sí gach unsa fuinneamh atá inti é a tharraingt chun bháid. Le linn an tubaiste seo, is minic a thagann athchuimhní chuig Tami maidir le scéal grá an lánúin.Taispeánn sé seo don  lucht féachána conas a bhuail an bheirt acu le chéile agus an ceiliúir pósta. Is brise deas é seo de radhairc an bád ag imeacht le sruth. Mar gníomh baothdhána, athraíonn Tami cúrsa an bháid i dtreo Haváí. Seans mór é seo mar má theipeann uirthi Haváí a shroicheadh níl aon mórthír eile ar an gcúrsa sin. Tá a lán brú ar Tami, tá uirthi an bia a roinnt amach go ciallmhar. 41 lá ina dhiaidh tagann an éacht dhochreidthe seo chun críche. Is scéal é seo ní amháin faoin aistear go sábháilteacht ach faoin scéal grá agus an guth taobh istigh duit faoi a bhfuil ag impí duit gan géilleadh. Tá neart ionann ar fad atá thar cionn an rud a féidir leat samhlú.

Check out our Irish Language Review for Adrift. The Movie is playing here now. Show Times/Tickets:>
https://ezine.movies-at.ie/book-adrift/

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Review

It’s hard to believe but we are now five movies into the Jurassic franchise with this the sequel to the 2015 Jurassic World.  Directed by J. A. Bayona who must take a lot of credit for a visually spectacular movie that starts off fast and just keeps going with lots of high octane action throughout.The plot continues on from the events of the precious movie where the humans have closed the park and left the dinosaurs to their own devices. When the Volcano on the island begins to erupt, the fate of the dinosaurs is at risk. Will the human race stand by and watch as the dinosaurs face extinction for a second time?The plot to this one is not very complicated which will leave many feeling like this was a weak effort in some ways as it seems to be fresh out of new ideas. The movie does have a huge fan base that will eat it up as we certainly get what we expected with this one. That’s not saying it’s a bad movie thought as it does have a lot of pluses which more than make up for everything else. The special effects look amazing as usual which is all the more impressive considering it was not all CGI used. Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom is the second part in the Jurassic World trilogy so expect to see our prehistoric friend’s back for another instalment in the near future.

3.5/5

Bill Tubbritt

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