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Randy and Grant Neale Star as King Lear and His Fool in “The Fool’s Lear” at the Burning Coal Theatre

Brothers Grant Neale (left) and Randy Neale star in as the Fool and King Lear in "The Fool's Lear"

Brothers Grant Neale (left) and Randy Neale star as the Fool and King Lear in "The Fool's Lear"

The Nomad Theatrical Company of New York City will present The Fool’s Lear, a terrific two-hander written, directed, and performed by brothers Randy and Grant Neale, on June 30-July 3 in the Burning Coal Theatre at the Murphey School near the Historic Oakwood Section in downtown Raleigh, NC.

“[Grant] Neale is a physical comedian on par with Bill Irwin, a master of the pratfall and of something even rarer — silly gracefulness,” claims the New York Daily News.

According to Burning Coal Theatre Company:

“This funny and poignant new play tells the tale of King Lear [played by Randy Neale] and his Fool [Grant Neale], as they leave the pages of William Shakespeare’s famed play. Filled with hopeful plans, they enter into a stormy crisis of identity: The Fool desperately tries to hold on to the one power by which he has always defined himself, his ability to make the King laugh; the King abdicates his kingship, ashamed of the tyrant father he has become.

“Who are they after all? A clown and a king, a servant and his master, a father and his unacknowledged son, or an old man suffering dementia and his reluctant caregiver?

“After a combined 70+ years in the theater, The Fool’s Lear represents the first full collaboration between brothers, Randy Neale (playwright/actor) and Grant Neale (director/actor). Told through the eyes of a motley Fool, the magical world of this production emerges from a large moveable trunk, filled with surprises. When the box opens, look out! Here come the peril and the valor, the tempest and the refuge, the friends and the foes, and the rubber chickens, swords, manacles, and ukuleles that make any story worth watching!”

In reviewing previous productions of The Fool’s Lear, the Charleston Today described the play as “the most cleverly designed source of constant surprises I have ever seen on any stage…. Yet it is the acting of these two prodigiously talented brothers that makes the show a wonder to behold…. Trust me: You have never seen anything like this.”

The Charleston, SC Post and Courier added: “Grant [Neale]’s indefatigable energy and spot-on physical comedy make for a textbook Fool…. Randy [Neale] as King Lear has perfected a look of utter detachment and hopelessness and genuinely conveys the devolution of a great king into a Fool.”

The Nomad Theatrical Company presents THE FOOL’S LEAR at 7:30 p.m. June 30-July 2 and 3 p.m. July 3 in Burning Coal Theatre at the Murphey School, 224 Polk St., Raleigh, North Carolina 27604.

TICKETS: $18, except $10 Thursday. BOX OFFICE: Tickets will only be sold at the door.





Grant Neale: (official website).


Robert W. McDowell is editor and publisher of Triangle Theater Review, a FREE weekly e-mail theatrical newsletter that provides more comprehensive, in-depth coverage of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill theater than all of the other news media combined. This preview is reprinted with permission from Triangle Theater Review.

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