The Story So Far: Lear might have resigned his powers as king, but he is unwilling to resign the prestige that went along with them. When his elder daughters, Goneril and Regan, both refuse to host his entourage of a hundred knights, Lear snaps and rushes off into a conveniently-symbolic thunderstorm.
A short, mostly-expository scene today, after all the excitement of Act 2. The fellow with the impressive mustache is the aptly-named "Gentleman". I used to ignore this character completely, but then I read actor David Weston's diary on his year spent playing the Gentlemen (and serving as understudy) to Ian McKellen's King Lear. Titled Covering McKellen, it is a deliciously revealing look at what goes into and behind-the-scenes of a major RSC production. Unlike many such publications, which err on the side of professional diplomacy, this really is no-holds-barred. I highly recommend it.
I hope everyone had a thoroughly enjoyable Shakespeare's birthday. I spent mine in a darkened room, watching nine and a half straight hours of Shakespeare-themed Indian movies. I recommend Omkara, an excellent adaptation of Othello that stays remarkably close to the source material, and Angoor, an adaptation of The Comedy of Errors which, I am pleased to say, is just as silly as its source material.
Tune in again on Monday, when we will be tackling the famous STORM SCENE, and the famous STORM SCENE SPEECH!