September 15, 2010
What if the great and tragic story of King Lear were to be told by the King’s closest companion – his own Fool? This is “Nearly Lear,” an adaptation of Shakespeare’s story that becomes not only poignant, but also mischievous, tender and achingly funny in the hands Susanna Hamnett. Hamnett, who co-created and stars in the one-woman show, takes to the stage at 8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 24, at UNC Asheville’s Lipinsky Auditorium. “Nearly Lear” kicks off the University’s 2010-2011 Cultural and Special Events Season.
Hamnett’s “Nearly Lear” has been hailed by critics for its humor, but also as ”gripping and compelling theater,” “both gentle and devastating.” Hamnett’s background is full of unusual juxtapositions, encompassing Russian Studies at Cambridge University, dramatic studies in London under the renowned Shakespeare coach Patsy Rodenburg, and clowning and vaudeville on the Canadian fringe circuit.
“Nearly Lear,” co-created with Edith Tankus, debuted in Toronto in 2008 and is slated for a tour of England and Scotland later this fall and two weeks of performances in New York City in January.
Tickets for the UNC Asheville performance are on sale now. Seating is general admission and tickets are $20 or $5 for area students. To reserve tickets by phone, call UNC Asheville's Highsmith University Union Box Office at 828/232-5000. To purchase tickets online, visit www.uncatickets.com.
Other events in the 2010-11 UNC Asheville Cultural and Special Events season include:
October 19: Step Afrika! – dance in the “stepping” tradition created by African American college students
November 5: Renown jazz singer Sheila Jordan
February 10: Innovative ukulele artist Jake Shimabukuro
April 5-6: Viver Brasil percussion, vocals and dance at the Diana Wortham Theater
June 16: Keowee Chamber Music Festival concert
For more information on UNC Asheville's Cultural & Special Events season or to purchase group tickets, call 828.251.6991 or click on http://www2.unca.edu/culturalarts/.