Edgar (right), played by Tim Martin, crosses swords with Edmund (James Johnson) in King Lear at the Shakespeare By the Sea festival at Fisherman’s Wharf until Aug. 20.  Robert Light photo

Edgar (right), played by Tim Martin, crosses swords with Edmund (James Johnson) in King Lear at the Shakespeare By the Sea festival at Fisherman’s Wharf until Aug. 20. Robert Light photo

The Bard returns to Fisherman’s Wharf Park in Victoria

Shakespeare by the Sea features King Lear and the Complete Works of William Shakespeare

Be prepared to laugh, cry and feel a range of emotions in between, during this year’s Shakespeare by the Sea.

The sixth annual event, which is an ode to William Shakespeare, opened at Fisherman’s Wharf last week with King Lear, a timeless story of politics, war and the relationship between men and women.

Lear is a British king in 8th-century BC who descends into madness when he disposes of his kingdom, giving bequests to two of his three daughters based on their flattery of him, which brings tragic consequences for all.

“There’s quite a bit of loss of identity and madness, especially when you look at King Lear … it’s not a happy ending by any means,” said Tim Martin, who plays the role of Edgar and has performed in 10 Shakespearean plays in recent years.

The Vancouver Island Shakespeare Arts Society, which puts on the event, has performed Shakespeare’s other tragedies such as Macbeth, Hamlet and Othello over the past four years. King Lear is the last of those four great tragic figures.

“It’s certainly one of his darkest and most dramatic plays,” said Mary Kennedy, president of the society’s board.

Shakespeare by the Sea also features Complete Works of Williams Shakespeare (abridged). It was first performed in Edinburgh in 1987 and went on to a nine-year run at the Criterion Theatre in London.

“It’s a side-splitting comedy that is just a crazy romp through all 37 of Shakespeare’s plays,” said Kennedy, adding it was important to have a mix of plays from both ends of the emotional spectrum.

“In contrast to an audience leaving [Lear] with the feeling and weight and heaviness of rampant death, we wanted the next night to just lighten spirits. We wanted that great contrast of emotions.”

The event runs until Aug. 20, with King Lear running Thursdays at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 2 and 7 p.m. The Complete Works plays Fridays at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 2 and 7 p.m., performed under the big top at Fisherman’s Wharf Park (30 Erie St.) in James Bay, which overlooks the entrance to the Inner Harbour.

For more information or tickets visit vancouverislandshakespearearts.com.

kendra.wong@vicnews.com

ShakespeareTheatre

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Royal Roads University president Philip Steenkamp said they are aware of hateful graffiti spray-painted in an area of the forest surrounding the campus. The graffiti in question includes anti-Semitic content and a racial slur towards Black people. (Facebook/Royal Roads University)
Anti-Semitic, hateful graffiti spotted in forest near Royal Roads University

Royal Roads working with West Shore RCMP to remove graffiti “as soon as possible”

A cougar was spotted at Royal Roads University on Sunday, Jan. 24. The sighting was reported on the western edge of the campus. (File photo)
Cougar spotted at Royal Roads University Sunday afternoon

Animal reported on western side of campus near Colwood Fire Department

Saanich-based St. Luke’s Players community theatre company has been making the most of their opportunities to keep busy during the pandemic, including staging a Christmastime panto of Alice in Wonderland on Zoom. (Courtesy St. Luke’s Players)
Saanich’s St. Luke’s Players: Bringing the stage to the people

Community theatre company holding online auditions Jan. 23-24 for March production

Frank Bourree was awarded the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce’s first Governors’ Award of Distinction for his leadership in the business community. (Courtesy of Frank Bourree)
Frank Bourree receives award of distinction from Victoria chamber

Award recognizes positive role model in business community

The Habitat for Humanity Meaning of Home contest is open to students in Grades 5 to 6. (Screenshot/Habitat for Humanity video)
Habitat for Humanity launches national writing contest

Entries accepted from students in Grades 4 to 6 until Feb. 19

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

A woman injects herself with crack cocaine at a supervised consumption site Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Drug users at greater risk of dying as services scale back in second wave of COVID-19

It pins the blame largely on a lack of supports, a corrupted drug supply

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

The sky above Mt. Benson in Nanaimo is illuminated by flares as search and rescuers help an injured hiker down the mountain to a waiting ambulance. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Search and Rescue)
Search plane lights up Nanaimo mountain with flares during icy rope rescue

Rescuers got injured hiker down Mt. Benson to a waiting ambulance Saturday night

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

From the left: Midway RCMP Csts. Jonathan Stermscheg and Chris Hansen, Public Servant Leanne Mclaren and Cpl. Phil Peters. Pictured in the front are Mclaren’s dog, Lincoln and Peters’ dog, Angel. Photo courtesy of BC RCMP
B.C. Mounties commended for bringing firewood to elderly woman

Cpl. Phil Peters said he and detachment members acted after the woman’s husband went to hospital

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

An Uber driver’s vehicle is seen after the company launched service, in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Several taxi companies have lost a court bid to run Uber and Lyft off the road in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Taxi companies lose court bid to quash Uber, Lyft approvals in British Columbia

Uber said in a statement that the ruling of the justice is clear and speaks for itself

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (News Bulletin file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Nanaimo hospital

Two staff members and one patient have tested positive, all on the same floor

Most Read