King Lear to open the new sea­son

Yorkshire Post - Culture & The Guide - - STAGE -

several years ago and said they wanted to do this. They sent me a song, then a lit­tle later on they sent me an­other and I was think­ing ‘this isn’t go­ing to be ready un­til 2030’. Then last year they con­tacted me to say they’d fin­ished it. They sent me the script, which I ap­proved and I asked if they’d like to come to Scar­bor­ough to play it through for me here, which they oblig­ingly did and I liked it enough to want to pro­ceed.”

The orig­i­nal play tells the story of Kevin, a young boy who falls asleep and falls into the story of his lit­er­ary hero Rock­fist Slim. Once in Rock­fist’s world, Kevin and his new friend find them­selves jump­ing from story to story, trav­el­ling through dif­fer­ent books and dif­fer­ent gen­res.

It’s a style of play at which Ay­ck­bourn ex­cels – some­thing that cap­tures the imag­i­na­tions of young au­di­ences while gen­uinely ap­peal­ing to more ma­ture theatre go­ers.

Com­poser Eric An­gus says: ““It struck me from the start as a great story for a mu­si­cal – strong char­ac­ters, great set-pieces and a va­ri­ety of fun set­tings.”

Lyri­cist Paul James says: “It’s a buddy movie, a road-trip, a quest where two un­likely part­ners must learn to co­op­er­ate to sur­vive. It’s also, in the most en­joy­able, least p pre­ten­tious way pos­si­ble, a med­i­ta­tion on such things as child­hood, the act of read­ing a and imag­i­na­tion. I loved it.”

So the deal was done and Ay­ck­bourn, whose 78th play also pre­mieres at the sea­side theatre this sum­mer, was slated to di­rect The Boy Who Fell Into a Book, the Mu­si­cal.

It must have been odd to be handed a project in­spired by a piece of work he had writ­ten and then be given the re­spon­si­bil­ity of bring­ing it to the stage. “It was very in­ter­est­ing,” he says. “Paul not only trimmed the book, but wrote all the lyrics as well. I think they’ve, all of them, caught the spirit of the play very closely. Paul, Cathy and Eric ob­vi­ously love the piece. I think, grat­i­fy­ingly, they are as pas­sion­ate about it as I was when I first wrote the play. It’s for any­one who ever se­cretly read un­der the bed clothes as a child and who has ever been cap­ti­vated by a story.” THE Globe’s much praised pro­duc­tion of King Lear will open the new sea­son at the Ge­or­gian Theatre Royal in Rich­mond.

Star­ring Joseph Mar­cell, best known for play­ing Ge­of­frey in The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, in the ti­tle role, the fast-paced telling of the tragedy also sees Game of Thrones ac­tor John Stahl as the Duke of Glouces­ter.

King Lear will run from Au­gust 27 to 30. For tick­ets at the Rich­mond theatre call the box of­fice on 01748 825252, www.geor­gianthe­atreroyal.

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