All posts by ishmaelgowralli

King Lear at Theatre Calgary

Wow, This was just amazing!

So last weekend on Saturday, April 4th I had gone to see King Lear at Theatre Calgary, and my what an experience. It was my first time seeing a Shakespeare play live, and my goodness, the production was excellent. I won’t elaborate too much since many others on the blog have posted similar thoughts on the play.

I will say though that, after watching the 2008 film with Ian McKellen, I somehow feel that this play did a better job telling a more cohesive story. The finer focus on the family relations, both in Lear’s family as well as between Gloucester and his sons, made the story all the more touching and dramatic. I will also say I came into the play thinking that the props and costumes would be minimal, with a focus on performance. Much to my surprise, I found the props to be fantastic, and the stage was flexible enough to convincingly transform into a new setting both efficiently and effectively. Of course the performances were also great, and every performer was able to not only hold their own, but contribute to the emotional weight of the story.

One of the scenes that stood out most to me was the one were Gloucester gets his eyes gouged out. The live visual effects were just gripping, with blood gushing out, and included the Duke of Cornwall dropping a fleshy prop eye on the ground and stepping on it. But perhaps my most favorite scenes were the ones that included the live sword battles, particularly when Edmund was on screen. I find these are quite effective and worth including in a production whenever possible since they really good at holding an audiences attention and provide a nice break from the more speech-y parts, keeping the audience interested and entertained. Obviously the best of these was the final showdown between Edmund and Edgar. I never though I could experience the same epic blockbuster action feeling from a live play, but I’m sure many would agree this was as good as it gets on stage.

If you haven’t seen it yet and are still thinking about it, I definitely recommend it.

My ticket:


-Ishmael Gowralli

On the Depiction of Time

Good day everyone!

Last week Tuesday in class we briefly talked about act 4, scene 1 in The Winter’s Tale in relation to choruses and their roles in the various plays. I soon inspired me to put down on paper what I thought Time would (or maybe should) look like in that one scene.

And this is what I came up with:
The Chorus of Time

Looking back at act 4 scene 1 we know that Time has wings: “Now take upon me, in the name of Time, / To use my wings.” (3-4)
Even though Time is the only character on stage, we do actually know the gender of Time. In the last set of lines in the scene, Time says: “If never, yet that Time himself doth say / He wishes earnestly you never may.” (31-32)

However up until that last little part I had first imagined Time as female!

Doing some more digging I found some more details on Time. Our edition of The Winter’s Tale has some nice info on pages 76-83 specifically on this topic, which also include some nice visual depictions of Time as well. It seems that Time was conventionally portrayed as a bearded old man, well, most of the time .(Haha!) Our text describes of one production in 1999, directed by Declan Donnellan, in which, it seems for the first, ahem, time, instead of a elderly bearded man, Time was, to everyone’s surprise, a youthful and attractive woman! So I was not alone!

I mean it only makes sense that Time would be young right? Since Time as a person is the personification of time, he/she should not be affected by time. Anyways…

Our text also mentions that Time carried an hourglass, as is reflected in the lines: ” Your patience this allowing, / I turn my glass, / and give my scene such growing / As you had slept between. ” (15-17) Another source I found stated that sometimes Time had a mirror instead. So in this case “glass” could be represented by either, but it seems the hourglass was more common so I went with that.

For my own personal touches, I thought that since I made her look pretty angelic, and since she is Time, I drew her halo in likeness to a clock. It turned out a lot less cheesy than I thought it would, I think.

And that’s pretty much it! Thanks for reading this far! One last thing, if you were a director, how would you portray Time? Old man? Young blonde? Something entirely different? Let me know in the comments!

-Ishmael Gowralli

The other source I found:
Rundus, Raymond J. “Time and His ‘Glass’ in The Winter’s Tale.” Shakespeare Quarterly 25.1 (1974): 123-125.

King Lear Movie Poster Concept

Hello all!

Following what Theresa has said in a previous post, I’ve decided to make an effort to create and post up more art and images as much as I can. The movie poster idea has been in my mind for a while, but before I go any further I present to you my movie poster concept for King Lear:


And yes, that is Andrew modeling as King Lear.
I must say that I had more fun than I thought I would making this poster. Initially I had ideas that were maybe a bit too complicated.
Like this one:


I still think it would have been cool to do something like this…but oh well.

We took a couple different shots. They were all pretty good, and I had a hard time choosing one to use for the poster. Here are some of them:

king lear 2 resized  king lear 3 resized

king lear 4 resized

And before this post gets too long I think I’ll end here with some credits.
Model: Andrew Lane (as King Lear)
Photography, Costume, and Photo-editing: Ishmael Gowralli

Hope you all enjoyed this and feel free to comment!
-Ishmael Gowralli