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by Strange Duck Media

What The Press Has Said

Nearly Lear is part tragedy, part comedy and full one-woman tour-de-force…

Susanna Hamnett tackles each character with passion and precision, lighting up the stage and engaging the audience from the opening scene…

Hamnett tells a superb story.

THE EDGE, LA. (October, 2012)

A spirited twist on Shakespeare’s tragedy…bringing the story to life with so much goofy energy and heartfelt conviction that you can’t wait to hear what happens next…

Hamnett’s gift for latching onto a character’s eccentricities and playing them up for comic effect is absolutely delightful.
Shakespeare in LA. (October 2012)

Everyone interested in the theatre and drama should have been at the Aberdeen Arts Centre last night, there should have been queues up and down King Street. Such is the mighty theatrical force that is Susanna Hamnett and her one-woman version of Shakespeare’s King Lear – Nearly Lear (created with and directed by Edith Tankus)…

Hamnett is a seriously gifted actress… skilled in Shakespeare, clown, vaudeville and storytelling…

Retold through the eyes of court jester, Noreen, played with razor-sharp hypertension by Hamnett, the tale unfolds at gunfire velocity with more wit, mischief and sheer playfulness than you can legally pack into 80 minutes of live theatre…

Every character is vividly etched and Hamnett plays them all with dazzling verve…

…bringing Shakespeare to life with a vibrancy (the audience) will never forget.

Roddy Phillips, Aberdeen Press and Journal. (October 27th, 2010)


(Photos: Ari Mintz for The New York Times)

Squeezing one of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies into a tight 90 minutes is no simple feat. Equally challenging is transforming said work, which also happens to be one of his more death-ridden and violent, into a show suitable for youngsters…

This is the formidable task that the British-born actress Susanna Hamnett and the director Edith Tankus have set for themselves — and accomplish with surprising brio and humor — in Nearly Lear an engaging solo show presented by the New Victory Theater at the Duke on 42nd St…

It’s a frisky, funny, vaudevillian…tantalizing introduction to the lifelong pleasures of  Shakespeare…

Creditably, Nearly Lear doesn’t add any sugar to Shakespeare’s sanguinary story, letting the corpses fall where they may…

An energetic, virtuosic performer with a touch of the endearing goofball…

Leaping from character to character — a slightly stiff, self-important Lear; a simpering Regan; a snooty Goneril; a sincere Cordelia — she manages to give each character a distinct voice (the varied accents are impeccable), and she keeps the story in clear focus…

… the most enjoyable — O.K., maybe the only enjoyable — example of audience participation I’ve ever witnessed..

But Ms. Hamnett does not fail to honor the ultimate darkness of the play’s vision… I found myself eyeing that tissue box forlornly once or twice.

Charles Isherwood, New York Times. (January 10th, 2011)

Susanna Hamnett shines in Nearly Lear.

Nearly Lear…is played to perfection by the gifted Susanna Hamnett… Although the play does touch on much of the sadness of the story, it is really the story of Noreen herself that is most captivating…both approachable and frighteningly vulnerable…a truly complex character…

Fast paced and exciting…

Hamnett is the real powerhouse of the play. She portrays at least six different characters effortlessly, never missing a beat or ceasing to explode with seemingly boundless energy. Her performance and the spot-on directorial skills of Edith Tankus create a character and a performance that viewers will not soon forget.

Susie Potter, Triangle Arts and Entertainment. (September 29th, 2010)

Susanna Hamnett brings humour and depth to Nearly Lear.

A bravura show emphasizing the parent-child bond in Shakespeare’s great tragedy…

Compelling, gripping theatre.

Glenn Sumi, NOW Magazine NNNN

…As comic as Norris’s retelling of Lear is, the tragedy and beauty of Shakespeare’s work comes through – but in a new and different way. Instead of showing us the story, in all its traditional grandeur, Norris tells it, in a way that is both gentle and devastating at the same time.

Andrew O’Connor, CBC Radio