Saturday, August 21, 2004

Scofield's Lear voted the greatest Shakespeare performance

In a unique poll of members of the Royal Shakespeare Company, the veteran stage and screen actor's legendary portrayal of the King has been acclaimed as the best ever, writes Roya Nikkhah. It is the greatest accolade an actor could hope for. In a poll of actors and actresses of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Paul Scofield, the 82-year-old veteran of stage and cinema, has been acclaimed for giving the greatest performance in a Shakespeare play for his legendary portrayal of King Lear.

Scofield, whose depiction of Lear in a 1962 production at Stratford was later made into a successful film, achieved his victory in a poll voted on by luminaries including Sir Ian McKellen, Donald Sinden, Janet Suzman, Ian Richardson, Sir Antony Sher and Corin Redgrave.

Judi Dench took second place for her portrayal of Lady Macbeth in Trevor Nunn's 1976 production of Macbeth, and also shared third place with Sir Robert Stephens's King Lear of 1993 for her performance as the lead in Antony and Cleopatra in 1987.

Ms Suzman said that despite the limitless number of possible choices from plays that had been performed for 400 years and by thousands of actors, she had chosen Scofield because of the brilliance of his acting. "You never forget the first great performance of a great play and I was utterly moved and completely transported by Paul's Lear," she said.

Scofield, who won an Oscar for his role as Sir Thomas More in Fred Zinnemann's 1966 film, A Man for All Seasons, said that he was "overwhelmed, astonished and delighted" by the accolade from his fellow actors.

No comments: