The Other Orson Welles

Bentley, Eric
April 1956
New Republic;4/30/56, Vol. 134 Issue 18, p29
Entertainment Review
The article reports that the play "King Lear," which is the production of City Center could be said to have become a success, except that it wasn't really a success of any kind. But Orson Welles, its director and star, did make headlines by playing Lear in ancient costume and a modern wheelchair. He hurt one ankle at rehearsals and the other on opening night, after which he missed a single performance and played the rest of them sitting down. That, as far as the public record is concerned, was that. Not that being a headliner is not a job in itself. On the contrary, it is a job, which has attracted Welles for a quarter of a century now. As a boy, he aimed at headlines out of juvenile high spirits and sheer ambition. And now that his spirits are not so high, and many of his ambitions have been satisfied, he is capable of aiming at headlines from sheer willfulness or sheer habit.


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