I’ve had to think about fools lately because I was going to do the designs for a performance of King Lear, in which the Fool has an important role. Now the show has been postponed because of the ongoing plague but the thoughts persist.
It’s not uncommon in literature for the Fool to possess more wisdom than many of the rest of the characters and that’s true of Lear’s Fool- although he does utter some sillinesses that might baffle modern audiences. Still, it must be difficult to be taken seriously if you’re hired to dress and act foolishly.
One of the ideas I had for his costume was to dress him as a one-man pantomime horse- an obvious and inescapable reminder to him of his status.
This is unlikely to feature in the actual show for practical and dramaturgical reasons and now I’ve been rested as a theatre designer I’ve reverted to my usual job- maker of toys for grown-ups.
Here’s a batch of five Fools, driven by the same foolishly simple mechanism but with variations in the Fools’ bodies and heads.
While I was making these objects the end of March and the beginning of April happened so I’ve date-stamped them all 1.4.20. Each one will have a fact sheet explaining something vital to one’s understanding of horseflesh.
Limited Edition of 5,
Numbered, signed and dated 1.04.2020
No 1 (prototype) H 33cm x D 12 cm x W 20 cm
No’s 2-5 H 30 cm x D 12 cm x W 20cm
Minimum Price £1800
10% of Proceeds will be donated to The Trussell Trust
Please pay more if you are able to. This will help CMT to keep working while our exhibitions are behind locked doors, and give much needed support to The Trussell Trust at this difficult time.