One wrinkle would be a kind of theoretical question: is a performance of Lear more like playing a symphony, where the concert is theoretically guided by and true to what's in the sheet music, or more like a film/tv/etc. adaptation of the play?

Even today, centuries after Tate, we don't perform Shakespeare literally as written. Hamlet is usually cut down, the Hecate scene in Macbeth is usually not performed, etc. Furthermore, we certainly don't perform Shakespeare according to Elizabethan/Jacobean performance practices; the women are played by women and not by boys in drag.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm not sure.

Expand full comment