Aside from the marvelous Hopkins, this is one of the most insensitive, silly, misguided, and importunate productions of a Shakespeare play I have ever seen or even heard of. Start with the casting. When Lear prays that Goneril be rendered barren ("Dry up in her the organs of increase") it is a truly terrible curse. Some of its sting, however, is lost when it is directed at an actress who seems to be pushing 70. The knights as commandos are bad enough, but the knights as total Yahoos are much worse, and that is part of the director's attempt to exonerate Goneril and Regan, to show that maybe they weren’t so bad after all. After all, who would want hundreds of such louts in one's house? But look here. There was a great scholar whose name was William Alfred. One day, when he was lecturing on King Lear, he came to the podium visibly shaken, holding a clipping in his hand. "It says here," he said, "that there is something to be said for Goneril and Regan." He paused and glared out over the audience. "Please remember what I am going to say," he continued. "There is NOTHING to be said for Goneril and Regan." Good heavens, look at what that pair does. It goes far beyond their acts as ungrateful daughters. Even the slightest elevation of these two monsters is an affront to any thinking feminist.
So we must bend KING LEAR, a story that was ancient even in Shakespeare’s day, into modern dress, twist it into a feminist form, bludgeon it into silliness with its attempt a multiculturalism, miscast the characters, and invent actions that never occur in the text. Personally, I would rather watch Mr. Wopsel’s production of Hamlet. Or, perhaps in an new production we should give the part of Gloucester to the Near-Sighted Mr. Magoo with Bugs Bunny as the fool and Elmer Fudd as Lear.