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North West End - Anthony Burgess Foundation 2018

Reviewer Rob Spence

At The Burgess Foundation, Bob Young brought Frank Bramwell’s reworking of the play to life in an impressive performance. Young has been touring this production for four years now, and he lives the part, inhabiting with impressive conviction the mind of the proud yet “foolish fond old man.” This version of Lear is an intense, hour-long examination of the central character’s psyche, as he reflects, sometimes with bitterness, sometimes with confusion, and sometimes with delicate tenderness, on his life. - Read the full review

Number 9 - Anthony Burgess Foundation 2018

Reviewer Richard Gorick

While condensing a three-hour tragedy with 27 characters into an hour long one man show may seem to be an impossibility, Writer-Director Frank Bramwell and performer Bob Young prove themselves to be more than up the task with this enlightening take on Shakespeare’s classic. The decision to stage the piece with a solo performer isn’t merely the result of a desire to impress with virtuoso acting but is key to the play’s emphasis of Lear's loneliness and estrangement from his family. King Lear is not only alone on stage but also in every sense of the word 'alone'.. - Read the full review

Burdell’s Yard, Bath 8th June 2017

Reviewer Karolina Latk

A magnificent, strong piece of high art playing nicely with Shakespeare’s King Lear. It is a great example of simultaneously reviewing what’s known and creating something new, where the old characters get more and more added to their personalities. Written by Frank Bramwell, this play surprises us with the depth of the protagonist’s psyche, which is flawlessly shown by Bob Young’s one-of-its-kind acting. These two are the stage’s perfect match, making King Lear (alone) a powerful voice on the subject of humanity and the worth of truth and words. This play becomes an additional moment in Lear’s life just before its end, which naturally makes him and us question the history of the original play....

Although the way the play is written makes it easy to understand for any audience (even if you’ve never read or seen King Lear before it is still for you!), theatre and Shakespeare lovers will find even more pleasure in it as Bramwell has for us many surprises and references. Both ways, however, it is a cultural must-see. Hopefully, we’ll get more chances to see the collaboration of Young and Bramwell.

Camden Fringe 8th-9th August 2016

Reviewer Laura Ellis

"I left the theatre feeling like I’d been exposed to a flawed individual at their most honest – and that honesty is something as terrifying, courageous and honourable as ruling a nation..... the outstanding performance of Bob Young and Bramwell’s truthful presentation of humanity was well worth the watch.." Read the full review

Reviewer - Annie Power

"King Lear (Alone) is a gripping production and the formidable performance given by Bob Young makes it compelling viewing." Read the full review

Reviewer - Marianna Meloni

"Bob Young in the title role, is a powerful performer. His tormented character takes shape thanks to his profound voice, whilst his presence on stage appears carefully studied..... In Bob Young's poignant (portayal), the play is quite intense. It's ground-breaking angle will definitely appeal to the culture vultures.

Manchester Theatre Awards - 2016
Greater Manchester Fringe
- Reviewer David Cunningham

"Much of the success of the play depends upon Bob Young’s performance. In accordance with the concept of the play he does not create any other characters than Lear but his facial expressions make clear how other people have reacted to the King’s demands. Unusually Young establishes a strong personality for Lear before the traumatic events that pushed him over the edge.

Bramwell faithfully sticks to the concept of filtering events through the consciousness of King Lear (Alone). He does not give in to temptation and include major speeches delivered by characters other than the king. Bramwell’s additions to the text are kept to a minimum and are more to allow Lear to review events and consider if things could have gone in a different direction."

Buxton fringe review
  - 2015

" King Lear (Alone) is an ambitious take on one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays. Starting in the middle and working out, the scenes seem to be in a chaotic order, mirroring the chaos of both the original play....... This Lear is more self-conscious than we might expect; more acutely aware of his loneliness, more conscious of his hubristic outburst at Cordelia, more contently accepting of death....... Bob Young, as Lear, gave a strong and nuanced performance, particularly given that he had to stand in late for the original actor, who is unavailable due to illness. He clearly had a good understanding of both script and character, and even though he was alone on stage, the audience was not distracted by his script in hand... ."

Behind the Arras review
Old Joint Stock Theatre, Birmingham

"The production gives an insight into the inner thoughts and feelings of King Lear, exploring the role from the
perspective of both an audience and an actor and goes into the heart of the character. Together, actor and
audience decipher who King Lear was as we watch the changes in his mind and extreme shifts in persona.

By taking away other characters in the play and leaving us with Lear alone, we see the madness and torture of
his soul come to light in a unique and pure way."

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