And how do you stage THAT?

Just a quick hit for today: Act Five, Scene Two, of King Lear, is a strange one. At only 11 lines, it’s the shortest scene in the play. It’s also the penultimate scene of the play, the only scene in which the war takes place on stage–sort of.

Without a line, Lear and Cordelia and their soldiers enter the field, and exit, going off to battle.

Edgar brings the blind Gloucester onto stage and leaves him in what he considers safety during the battle. And exits.

There is the sound of “alarum and retreat” (V.ii.4 stage direction).

Edgar re-enters, with news that Lear and Cordelia have been lost and have been taken. And after convincing Gloucester to keep hope alive, Edgar takes Gloucester from the stage and into a new safe place.

So we have a battle. But not not exactly. We have an exit and a re-entrance within a single line of action, but obviously after some time has passed.

How do you stage this effectively?

Is it all sound and fury? Gloucester is the only one on stage. He is blind. He cannot see what is happening. Is he the audience surrogate?

It’s such a strange scene.

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