'Do not be old before you are wise': this monumental play about loss, first staged in 1605, asks the question: what are man's needs and how shall he first understand them?
So begins a headlong journey, unportended by any star. At a hasty three hours, Barry Kyle's production uncovers a distinctly Elizabethan dynamic; rough-shod and jolting to sensibilities, as the Fool follows Lear, on understudying a hopeless course of events.
Laughter comes in surprising places; even with the end's most sombre answer. The tradition of oral storytelling, natural to the Globe, has turned audience to players, exposing a freer field of pity.