Stiletto and wheels Stiletto title Sole to sole Stiletto

STILETTO – a high pointed HEEL on a woman’s shoe or a small dagger.

WHEELS – a medieval instrument of torture or a vehicle for personal mobility. title
ARTS - February 2009
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I went to The Young Vic last weekend to see Pete Postlethwaite in King Lear. He is an actor I really admire. I thought he would be a great Lear…and I was disappointed.

He was good but, for some reason, not great. Maybe my hopes were too high but, he seemed too one-dimensional, both physically and vocally, to establish the fall from empowered high hubris to poignantly betrayed death that a great Lear must make. His performance, along with that of the other actors, was not helped by a production which, I felt, stripped the humanity from many key relationships. Without the intense human dynamic between Lear/Fool; Lear/Corderlia; Edmund/Edgar, and so on, the performances seemed good but not emotionally engaging. I was never bored but I did not leave the theatre feeling moved…and I had expected to be.

live jazz

I was impressed on my first visit to The Young Vic since its’ makeover. We found a parking space just a couple of streets away. The ground floor was level access from the street; lift access to the upper level. The bar and restaurant were buzzing. Generally seating is unreserved but wheelchair spaces are allocated. Helpful, chatty staff members guided us in and to our space/seat.

The theatre seemed much bigger than I had remembered with the audience curving round three sides. The set, for this play, included a backdrop with steps down from the back to a ground level performance area. Sadly, my wheelchair space was at the back of the upper level so much of the ground floor action could not be seen by me. Did anyone sit in a wheelchair and look out from here?

If they had, they might have spotted that a wheelchair seat is several inches lower than the bench seats alongside so yields a vastly inferior view; plus, a lot of wheelchair users, like me, cannot lean forward, duh! Fortunately, in this play, much of the action was on the, entirely visible, steps.

I hate making this minor complaint – hey, given some of the spaces I have been put in this is minor! - as, overall, I thought The Young Vic was a great place: one to which I will happily return.

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