King Lear: Guns, Blood, and Real Sword Fights!

Get ready for a night to remember, complete with guns, blood, and real sword fights! Oxford’s Ensemble of Shakespearean Artists (OESA) will be putting on their take of Shakespeare’s tragedy King Lear, set in the modern day right here at Oxford College. Come see the show, whether it be this Thursday night as a lead in to Oxford’s Fall Formal or as a post-festivity resting session on Saturday or Sunday! This is a prime opportunity to sit back, relax, and show your school spirit by supporting your fellow classmates as they show off the hard work they have put in over the past few months to bring King Lear to life!

King Lear follows the story of King Lear’s downward spiral from power and his relationship with his three daughters. The performance will portray love’s epic tale, leaving room for the transformation of characters. As entire nations go to war, the play still manages to come across as deep and personal.

 Our director Elizabeth Johnson, has done a magnificent job casting. Oxford’s very own Gabriel Eisen will be setting the mood for the performances as he appears playing the lead role, King Lear himself. Another level of depth has been added to the play from the fact that two traditionally male characters have been switched to being females, Oswald and Edmund, the bastard, respectively. Gabriel and the entirety of the cast have greatly improved their acting skills, while running through rehearsals, bringing out many emotions through their characters.

Many laughs and smiles were seen on cast members as they learned their lines, their entrances, their exits, and the choreography of their fight scenes. The fact that the actors are great friends, both on and off stage, helps bring their characters alive. Helena and Alex, who play Lear’s daughters Goneril and Reagan, have been able to use their real-life friendship to feed into their sisterly relationship onstage.

The special effects of King Lear are a sight to see. With a Shakespearean tragedy that is bound to end in some sort of death, the play would not be complete without a little blood and some gushing injuries. The fast paced and intriguing plot line will be sure to keep you guessing as to what happens next, even if you have already seen or read the play. OESA is sure to keep you on your toes with the details they have added to the plot, starting with a true Oxfordian Coke toast and ending with so much more.

Running time of the show is about 2 hours and 50 minutes, with a short 15 minute intermission between acts. There will be performances 7:30pm on Thursday, Nov 17 and Saturday Nov 19, and at 3:00pm on Sunday Nov 20. Come out, get a seat, and bring your friends for a great night on campus!

Check out OESA's version of the Mannequin Challenge!! 

All photo credits: June Kwon