The Fool's bauble

The Fool's bauble from King Lear in the 2007 production.

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


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