Slings and Arrows

Season 3 Episode 1

Divided Kingdom

Aired Unknown Jul 24, 2006 on The Movie Network
out of 10
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Episode Summary

Divided Kingdom
With last season's Macbeth the toast of Broadway, Geoffrey is under pressure to deliver another hit. The play he has chosen is an even greater challenge, King Lear. Terrified to climb this Everest alone, he seeks out his ghostly mentor, Oliver Wells. But Oliver is nowhere to be seen. As for Ellen, Geoffrey's on again/off again lover, she is too busy taking Geoffrey's panic personally to be of any help. So Geoffrey turns to his boyhood hero Charles Kingman, who he coaxes out of retirement to play King Lear.moreless
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  • Success comes to the New Burbage festival, but can everyone handle it? Season 3 starts off great by showing the company in a new situation where they call the shots. In the background : the ultimate creative challenge of "King Lear".moreless

    Seasons 1 & 2 of this show just sweep you in, and if you're like me you'd probably be content to just see more and more of Geoffrey and Ellen's on-again-off-again love life, of Richard showing us the comic paradox of art and commerce, of Oliver's ghostly direction, and another underdog festival company crafting drama and meaning against all odds. But season 3 promises to show more, and now I'm swept in more than ever. Our heroes have it all now -- money, acclaim, the space and license to put on the plays they want, the way they want. But with the letup of stress comes a surprise -- without stress to drive you forward, how do you create? We see the characters alone with themselves, each grappling in different ways with the question: What next?

    Artistic Director Geoffrey feels it the worst, and his manhood is literally shaken. Lead Actress Ellen seems to thrive on the attention and success, but beneath her flirtatious facade she's as lost and fearful as Geoffrey. Richard has the simplest problem -- its clearer than ever he's just a bean-counter -- though "a good bean-counter". Where does he find meaning in what he does? There is so much that Richard has "taken too little care of..."

    "Lear" is the greatest tragedy, and the most human tragedy. All the ingredients are there for Lear's themes of despairing madness, blindness and ingratitude to be mirrored by the off-stage story arc, just as we saw Hamlet's affected madness in Geoffrey's return in season 1, and Geoffrey-as-witch manipulating Henry Breedlove as Macbeth.

    But for all the gory doings of Hamlet and Macbeth, we never saw their tragic scenes on-screen. The opening episode of season 3 sends the message we will see tragedy head-on, whether in Gloucester's blinding, or in the flaws of aged, unlikely Lear Charles Kingman.

    The final season has begun, and I don't think we will be disappointed.moreless

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Richard Smith-Jones is suggesting that William Shatner could play the title role in "King Lear". Shatner really has performed in several plays by William Shakespeare.

  • QUOTES (9)

    • (Richard is looking for advise from Geoffrey concerning his identity crisis.)
      Geoffrey Tennant: Why did you come here in the first place? Do you like the theater?
      Richard Smith-Jones: Yeah, I like the theater, especially musicals. I mean, I loooooove musicals.
      Geoffrey Tennant: Okay, this is great. You see, this is a very happy piece of symmetry because ... I haaaaaate musicals and I don't think I can sit in a room with Darren Nichols, I'm quite afraid that this time I will put something sharp into his frontal lobe, so why don't you go to the musical rehearsal and be me?

    • Richard Smith-Jones: I'm not a leader or a visionary, I'm a bureaucrat, I'm a bean counter.
      Anna Conroy: Yes, but you're a good bean counter, you care about what you do and you're detail oriented ... (Richard starts to cry.)

    • Darren Nichols: I'm very eager to begin.
      Geoffrey Tennant: And we are very eager for you to begin and to conclude also.

    • Geoffrey Tennant: What is it you were directing again?
      Darren Nichols: A musical, based on Humpty Dumpty, very dark, the Dutch went crazy for it.
      Geoffrey Tennant: Oh, those Dutch.
      Darren Nichols: I must say, I've fallen in love with the musical genre. It's the art form of the common man. If you want to communicate something to the proletariat, cover it in sequence and make it sing. It's noisy, vulgar and utterly meaningless, I love it.

    • Anna Conroy: How are we today?
      Geoffrey Tennant: We are fine, we haven't cried ... yet, but it's still early.

    • Richard Smith-Jones: Any hints on who is gonna play Lear? Is it William Shatner?
      Geoffrey Tennant: I haven't decided.
      Richard Smith-Jones: Oh, c'mon, what's to decide? He's Captain Kirk!

    • Interviewer: Your Macbeth has just finished a smashing round in New York. As I see here, the "Times of London" called it "perfect".
      Geoffrey Tennant: That's a ridiculous statement! Look, theater is dynamic, it is constantly in change from performance to performance, so the concept of "perfection" is meaningless!

    • (Geoffrey is giving in an interview on BBC.)
      Interviewer: Geoffrey, your productions are known for their bare-bone style of staging, coupled with an almost unbearable emotional intensity.
      Geoffrey Tennant: Oh god, are they?
      Interviewer: What's your secret?
      Geoffrey Tennant: I, I, I, I don't know what I'm doing, I just do it.
      Interviewer: Any particular influences?
      Geoffrey Tennant: Too many to count.
      Interviewer: What about the late Oliver Wells?
      Geoffrey Tennant: Oliver? Sure, him, and every director I've ever worked with and every actor I've ever worked with and my mother and my father, my grade seven teacher, my little dog Ruffles, I've been influenced by anyone I've ever met and I've stolen from everyone I've ever worked with.
      Interviewer: Didn't Picasso say something like "bad artists copy, good artists steal"?
      Geoffrey Tennant: Yes, and he also said "good taste is the enemy of creativity" and I take great comfort from that.

    • (Richard and Geoffrey are preparing for an interview for BBC.)
      Richard Smith-Jones: Geoffrey, are you sure you're up for this? Because, you know, this is the BBC, this is important. The Queen might be listening.
      Geoffrey Tennant: Richard, you can rest easy, I will not embarrass you or Her Majesty with any spontaneous weeping.

  • NOTES (0)


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