Whispers from the Wings

Meanwhile in the Midwest

November 23, 2012

Dharmesh on the busThe timing of the US leg of our tour has been so extraordinary, you could be forgiven for believing that it was somehow ordained – perhaps by the 'spherical predominance' and 'planetary influence' in which Gloucester believes, but Edmund mocks.

At one point on Sunday 28 October, it really did look like the approach of Hurricane Sandy would scupper our flight plans and jeopardise our chances of getting to Ohio in time for our first performances.

We were lucky enough to be on board one of the last planes to take off from LaGuardia, and though we were relieved to have made it to Columbus, I know I speak for all of us when I say that it was with great sadness and compassion that we witnessed the destruction wrought upon the East Coast over the next 48 hours. Our thoughts remain with the residents in and around the fantastic city that welcomed us warmly and gave us such a wonderful two weeks.

Meanwhile, in the Midwest, we found ourselves in the capital of one of the most crucial swing states in the US presidential election.

Ohio university floorBoth Obama and Romney both spent time in Columbus in the crucial days leading up to Tuesday 6 November. Whatever your political leanings, it was impossible not to be effected by the stirred passions and mounting tension. It reminded me of just how much of a ruckus is caused when power is up for grabs.

This is crucial to the first scene of our play, which sees the ageing Lear dividing out his land among his daughters. Many in this scene, Edmund included, don't yet know how the power will be divvied out. But for a man who is, on some level, obsessed with power, seeing so much authority hanging in the balance must be incredibly exhilarating.

So, our second week in Ohio has actually given me a deeper understanding of Edmund's point of view during the first scene, and has reminded me of the fact that, even when a character is not directly involved in the action and not speaking, there can still be profound things happening in that silence.

by Ben Deery  |  No comments yet

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Teaching Shakespeare