COVERING MCKELLEN

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COVERING MCKELLEN

Postby Barry » Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:13 pm

September 9th 2011

Covering Mckellen - David Weston

I have never a read a book quite so quickly. I read about this in one of the Sunday papers last weekend, got it off Amazon and finished it this evening, and what a highly enjoyable rather naughty book it is. Not naughty but I guess honest which could be seen as indiscreet. It follows a complete year with the Royal Shakespeare Company as they perform King Lear in four continents with McKellen as Lear. the author is playing the part of Gentleman and also covering McKellen. I have an immediate empathy with someone who has not quite made the big time and has to exist in others shadows, as Weston does, but what a year for everyone. I did see this production, sat on the front row at Stratford, and thoroughly enjoyed every second it. A very lucid moving production, with enormous detail and a visual setting that made such sense of the character's heirachy. But this book, well I love the whole creative process, finding new things in the play whilst trying to cope with all the mechanics of a prestigious company, the stress of touring, the endless restaging for different theatres, the slotting in of understudies, and the inevitable complex relationships within the company, both good and bad. It was a joy to read, and whilst some of the names come out less than favourably in terms of dedication and professionalism, Ian comes out of it as a real humble devoted leader - and a darn talented personable one at that.
It was good to read about the New Zealand theatre that I knew so well.
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