|Colm Feore as King Lear, at the Stratford Festival.|
Colm Feore as King Lear is a force of nature. True, there is artistry behind a performance that ranks among the best of the Canadian actor's career – and given that he has previously played such a variety of roles, from Cyrano de Bergerac to Iago, Oberon, Macbeth and Fagin during his 17 seasons on the Stratford Festival stage, this is no small statement. Other grand men of Canada's theatre scene have worn the mantle of Shakespeare’s flawed and elderly monarch at Stratford over the past decade, among them Brian Bedford and Christopher Plummer whose 2002 performance of Lear a few seasons back was a tour de force, forever etched in memory. But believe it, Feore’s is just as powerful, if not that much better. His Lear, at the Festival Theatre now through Oct. 10, is human-sized, petty but also delicately perfumed with pathos: a King the people can truly relate to.