The Playgoer: PBS Can't Handle King Lear's Schlong

Custom Search

Thursday, January 08, 2009

PBS Can't Handle King Lear's Schlong

The good news is PBS will broadcast the much-ballyhooed but little seen Ian McKellen-Trevor Nunn King Lear that toured the country and the world last year.

The bad news?

the coming PBS broadcast of “King Lear” will avoid offense to delicate sensibilities by omitting a nude scene by Ian McKellen, who plays the title role, The Associated Press reported. Though Mr. McKellen regularly performed the scene in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of the play, a taping of “King Lear” that PBS will show on “Great Performances” on March 25 will omit it.
My concern is not that of some perv who gets off on old men's willies. My concern is...isn't that little "scene" the storm scene? Like, the most famous in the play?

So are they just blurring his naughty bits, or actually cutting the storm scene from Lear?

(You may recall Sir Ian getting naked dogged this production for most of its original run. And now it still can't, um, shake it. We sure have come a long way in the 21st century haven't we.)

UPDATE 1/10/09: Lo and behold, the Times corrects itself. When they ran the above item in print the following day in the Friday "Arts, Briefly" column (my original link was to the Thursday posting on their "ArtsBeat" blog) it was rewritten to say PBS was merely "hiding the nudity in a scene" and that the broadcast will simply "avoid showing him naked." Someone must have brushed up on their Shakespeare.

2 comments:

James Urbaniak said...

Dick move.

Zack said...

I do remember reading a blog from the UK at the time that said, "Dude, I saw Gandalf's junk . . . and it was huge!!!"

I think people are being very puritanical about the whole thing.