Lear at the Network Theatre


Almost 20 years I’ve lived in London now, but the old girl still surprises me.  That’s part of the reason I love her, I guess. 🙂

Yesterday I discovered a wee theatre underneath Waterloo Station!

Network TheatreThe Network Theatre is impossible to find if you don’t have the address in your pocket and determination in your heart. Still, I advise you to copy down that address and find that determination, because the rewards are worth it.

But how to find it?

First, ye must have FAITH to navigate the unpromising looking maintenance road.

Second, ye needeth VISION to avoid the puddles – they’re not exclusively water and they smell…funny.

Third, need ye yet MORE FAITH when you approach the locked security gate.

Fourth, ye must have COURAGE to confront the grumpy security guy, guardian of the access code for the security gate.  Woe betide ye who must ask twice for the access code!

And Fifth, is basically a RETREAD of the First and Second.

Only then will ye discover the lost Network Theatre of the Ancients!

Shakespeare's King Lear at Network Theatre, Waterloo

All this rigmarole’s a bit of a shame, because it’s a nice little theatre, staffed with friendly people selling tickets are very reasonable (just £12 for King Lear last night), and they have a bar, too.

The Lovely Melanie and I had tickets bought for my birthday by Conny – I asked for “Some Shakespeare tickets” and she delivered!  So, not knowing what to expect, we went along…

And it was a fantastic performance.  Seriously.  We loved it!

An edited version of Shakespeare’s King Lear (which I haven’t read), to be sure, but the Lovely Melanie (who has read it) tells me the edited parts were mostly confusing soliloquies by Mad Tom and the play was better off without them.

All the players knew all their lines, could all act – and act well.  If I’d paid four times the price and seen last night’s version on a West End stage I wouldn’t have been the least bit disappointed.

Such a shame, then, that there were maybe 20 people in the audience.  But the play’s on for a couple of weeks, so if you have a free evening tomorrow or next week then go and see King Lear at the Network Theatre.

You won’t regret it. 🙂

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