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by Strange Duck Media

What People Have Said

Susanna Hamnett’s ‘Nearly Lear’ had me at ‘Hello’ and it did not let me down. Consummately crafted and acted, Hamnett conjured up an entire cast of characters with a fearless relish last shown by Bottom in Shakespeare’s ‘Dream’, (- though with considerably more skill -) including a comedic death scene to rival that of Pyramus that I couldn’t help thinking Shakespeare himself would have been proud of. With wit, joyful playfulness and humour that never became indulgent or lost sight of it’s way, this wise fool led us right to the heart of her story, beneath the broken Crown and torn Kingdom, flowery language and ‘themes’, to a personal story of love and loss we could all relate to, between a parent and their child. Thank you!
Charlotte W., Edinburgh Fringe 2023

Powerful! Masterfully acted, powerfully done. One of the best this fringe. 10/10!
Amanda, Edinburgh Fringe 2023

Both hilarious and touching in equal measure, I cannot recommend this show highly enough. The most effective storm scene I have ever experienced. Well worth the standing ovation she received. Don’t miss it.
Dave C., Edinburgh Fringe 2023

Holy crap, this is brilliant!
Joe J., Edinburgh Fringe 2023

‘I had the privilege of working with Susanna Hamnett in the early stages of development for Nearly Lear. The work was fresh and inspiring, accessible and brave, witty and true… Everything one could want from a great night out! The fusion of gentle clowning and deep tragedy proved powerful and engaging…a real delight!’
Emma Rice, Artistic Director, Wise Children

‘Thank you for bringing Nearly Lear to Stowe, VT. You’ve found engaging, fun ways for new theater-goers to enter the world of Lear and overcome both rhymed couplets and unfamiliar customs. You’ve illustrated how, at heart, the conflicts within Shakespeare’s greatest tragedy are much like those we experience in high school. You’ve beautifully shown how easy it is for pride to drive poor decisions, and how many “off ramps” there usually are on the road to disaster, if we could just see the exits. You’ve done so with humility and humor – illustrating a right course for Lear and for our guests.’
Lance Olson, Executive Director, Spruce Peak Arts Center, Vermont

‘I wish I had had a couple of dozen roses with me this afternoon to scatter on the stage as we were applauding. You were/are amazing. A one woman magic show. Absolutely enthralling…Thank you so much for dreaming up such a story and bringing it to such life with minimal props and music.’
Nadia H., N. Carolina

‘Wow! Today’s performance in North Carolina knocked the socks off me! The script is brilliant. Your acting is off the charts. I don’t think that I’ll ever again view Shakespeare through the same lens. I will follow your career wherever it goes, confident that you will continue to bring your intelligent, playful, flexible talent to any material you choose to explore.’
Trish M., N. Carolina

‘Susanna Hamnett is brilliant and amazing.’
Circus Bambouk, NYC

‘Nearly Lear was an absolute wonder. I will carry the memory of that performance with me for years. Thank you!
John M., Doncaster, UK

‘It was funny and moving and disturbing. And brave and subversive. And totally magical the way you were transformed so completely into each character… From this distance even harder to believe there was only one of you. Thank you.’
Clare S., Appleby, UK

‘Thank you so much for your completely amazing and wonderful piece. We all want you back here!’
Rachel Feldberg, Artistic Director, Ilkley LIterature Festival, UK

‘What a wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon! What a romp – I’ve never laughed so much at suicides or eye-gougings before! Bring on the Dora! My partner and I thoroughly enjoyed your ‘Nearly Lear’ performance yesterday. I’ve seen (too?) many productions of ‘Lear’, including those that the critics told me I should like, but your performance engaged me viscerally in a way that most of the other productions did not. I laughed, I cried…well, you get the point. Good on you!’
Larry Taylor, English and Drama teacher, Havergal College

‘I am so inspired by your play I went to the library and got a book by Shakespeare. It was so amazing I cannot explain it. It was way beyond amazing. It was perfect!’
Emelia, student, Dundas PS

‘Sometimes as a mom you have magical experiences with your kids, and that’s what your performance was like for us yesterday. You were beyond brilliant, and we think Shakespeare would approve. I think that every child’s first introduction to Shakespeare should be like this’.
Marie Foley, parent

‘I saw this today, and for anyone else lucky enough to see her, this woman is absolutely amazing. You sometimes have doubts about people doing a whole play on their own, but she was absolutely wonderful. It was the best balance of hilarious and tragic, So well done. It was unbelievable.’
Audience member, Capitol Theatre, Nelson, BC

‘It is a tragedy, but you made it a tragedy with the right amount of sadness and much humour…The students were spellbound throughout. They were with you all the way. Well done! I hope that you can bring this wonderful experience before the hundreds of students who are in our schools and who will just eat up this classical work, be inspired to explore Shakespeare and themselves feel moved to tell stories in such a creative way.’
Gerry Mabin, founder of The Mabin School

‘One of the BEST solo performances that I have seen in years.’

‘A wonderful take on King Lear. You immediately gravitate towards her very commanding presence on stage and ability to instantly change the mood of the dialogue. Love the juxtaposition of humour with the tragedy and structure of Shakespeare’s King Lear.’

‘Outstanding Artistry.’

‘Hilarious. Masterful. Dynamic.’

‘What a talent! Awesome way to make Shakespeare understood!’
Comments from ArtStarts Showcase, Vancouver