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Robe and Cloak worn by Paul Scofield
King Lear, 1962
Director and designer: Peter Brook
This robe and cloak are made of coarse knitted wool with a gold underlay. They are decorated with imitation jewels. The costume has been aged and made to look dirty as part of the design process.
This was the RSC's first production of King Lear. Scofield had not performed in the town since the 1940s and a period of ill-health meant that the opening night was delayed. Peter Brook put on a stark production with simple costumes and a minimal set. Scofield's 'powerful passion' was praised by most critics. The Fool (Alec McCowen) was 'really intelligent and understanding'. While Lear's three daughters (Patience Collier, Diana Rigg and Irene Worth) were 'about as strong a combination of this kind as we have seen this season'.
In 2004 Scofield's King Lear was voted the greatest Shakespearean performance ever by members of the RSC.
© 2011 Royal Shakespeare Company
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