Who will you take orders from? That’s what came up this morning… working on Lear. Old actors used to tell me that Shakespeare wasn’t ‘about’ anything. That he just wrote ‘cracking good yarns’. But in the days of Cameron and Pope Francis and Kim Jong-un we, you… should be thinking about this. Richard II, Henry IV, Macbeth… Petruchio, even Hamlet… all throw their weight about, try to order people to do things. It might be us, sitting at home worrying about taxes and benefits and parking and oyster cards. Shakespeare was asking… ‘How do you work out who’s right? Who’s worth listening to?’ I’m convinced of that. And when King Lear comes on… what is he, eighty something at the very least…? He knows he has to change… but how and in what direction? And in this play we have an old boy so used to getting his own way that he’s still barking out orders about how every detail of change has got to happen, as if he has the authority of… what? A supernatural being. Can you think of leaders who went on trying to tell us what to do and what was right, long after they were competent, or we could trust them?