Company: You Rung?, Christchurch, New Zealand
Venue: 30 - School of Contemporary Dancers
(Reviewed at the Toronto Fringe Festival)
New Zealand’s David Ladderman is a chameleon onstage.
This fresh take on Shakespeare's King Lear
is one battle you'll want to be part of.
New Zealand's David Ladderman is a chameleon onstage, moving gracefully from playing a flashy busker, to explaining Shakespearean English, to single-handedly acting out scenes from Shakespeare's tragedy. He is able to switch between characters convincingly and energetically, in a heartbeat.
Ladderman is a true star - versatile, dynamic and charismatic - and what he offers is not theatre for the faint of heart. He speaks directly to you and he expects you to speak - nay, yell - back.
While the show's title refers to the sub-plot in King Lear
featuring Edmond "the bastard" and his brother Edgar, you don't need to know anything about Lear
, or Shakespeare, to enjoy this show (Ladderman stops the action to break down the story to make sure we're following). But Shakespeare buffs do get to show off their knowledge in audience participation portions.
While the show is dazzling, the first few minutes - featuring a juggling segment - are not actually indicative of the rest of the performance, unless to demonstrate how quickly Ladderman can "juggle" his many roles.
I never knew King Lear
could be so funny.