The Fool's bauble
This bauble or 'marotte' was created for the Fool in the Royal
Shakespeare Company production of King
Lear in 2007. Designed by
Christopher Oram, the prop was made to look like
Sylvester McCoy who played the Fool in the production.
The bauble is made of wood and textile and has a mechanical
mouth. It was made by the RSC Props department in Stratford-upon-Avon who
produced all the small and soft props, including hand written letters passed
between characters and an intricate shoulder bag to hold the bauble and other
inseparable items belonging to the Fool, such as the spoons he played in their
miniature violin case.
In this production, King Lear, played by Sir Ian McKellen,
carried the bauble after the Fool was hanged. This strong visual link between
the two characters reminded the audience of the Fool's constant judgement that
it is King Lear who is a fool. Real court jesters would carry similar objects
to mimic a King's sceptre, so when King Lear carried the mock sceptre in the
play it represented his foolishness and fall from grace.
This production was first performed in May 2007 in
Stratford-upon-Avon at The Courtyard Theatre.
Directed by Trevor Nunn
Designed by Christopher Oram