Lear [1982]

Brilliant performances from an amazing cast highlight this piece of modern theater history. James Earl Jones stars as Lear in this digitally remastered recording of a live performance in the park. (If you've ever wished you could see one of Joseph P…more »

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Lear:
A man woke up one morning and found he'd lost his voice. So he went to look for it, and when he came to the wood there was the bird who'd stolen it. It was singing beautifully and the man said, “Now I sing so beautifully I shall be rich and famous”. He put the bird in a cage and said, “When I open my mouth wide you must sing”. Then he went to the king and said, “I will sing your majesty's praises”. But when he opened his mouth the bird could only groan and cry because it was in a cage, and the king had the man whipped. The man took the bird home, but his family couldn't stand the bird's groaning and crying and they left him. So in the end the man took the bird back to the wood and let it out of the cage. But the man believed the king had treated him unjustly and he kept saying to himself, “The king's a fool” and as the bird still had the man's voice, it kept singing this all over the wood and soon the other birds learned it. The next time the king went hunting he was surprised to hear all the birds singing, “The king's a fool”. He caught the bird who'd started it and pulled out its feathers, broke its wings and nailed it to a branch as a warning to all the other birds. The forest was silent. And just as the bird had the man's voice the man now had the bird's pain. He ran round silently waving his head and stamping his feet, and he was locked up for the rest of his life in a cage.

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