'King Lear' makes me cry everytime I read it or watch it. And now, it's making me cry without my even starting on Act I, Scene 1. Because I can't get tickets to the Royal Shakespeare Company's production that opens tonight, with Ian McKellen as Lear.
Tickets were sold out weeks ago. And these were at prices that I consider exorbitant -- $200 to $500. Even the RSC doesn't charge so much on home ground. I suppose there's the cost of touring -- Singapore is the only Asian stop on this world tour. It cost the Singapore Repertory Theatre $1 million to bring in the RSC and I suppose they are making good that money.
The most ironical thing is that Sir Ian told our arts reporter in an interview that Shakespeare and Chekhov (he's doing a double bill) is not high brow and that students should come and watch. What student could afford $200 and that's the cheapest seat? Well, there's an even cheaper $80 seat but your view is obstructed, the ticketing site kindly tells you. Even I could ill afford a ticket and I was just going to buy one ticket for myself and leave L at home.
But all that's moot, of course. There are no tickets to be had. I'll just have to read my well-thumbed copy of 'Lear' tonight while those in the $500 seats rattle their jewellery.