Bernardo Commandeers HARING LEAR

from left: Bernardo Bernardo (Haring Lear) & Garry Lim (Gloster). Studio Connection’s HARING LEAR can be seen at the CSB SDA Theater from February 27 to March 8, 2015. HARING LEAR is also part of the FRINGE MANILA Multi arts festival. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Bernardo Bernardo (Haring Lear) & Garry Lim (Gloster). Studio Connection’s HARING LEAR can be seen at the CSB SDA Theater from February 27 to March 8, 2015. HARING LEAR is also part of the FRINGE MANILA Multi arts festival. Photo by Jude Bautista

Written and photographed

By Jude Bautista

Haring Lear (Bernardo Bernardo): Wala na bang nakakakilala dito kay Lear? Aba hindi na ba, hindi na ba ito si Haring Lear? Ito ang kanyang mga mata, ang pagsalita ko, ganito ba, ganito ba kung lumakad siya? Malabnaw na ang kanyang pagwari. O mahina na ang kanyang pag iisip? Tulog ba siya o gising? Ang mabigat na katanungan ay kung sino siya! Gusto ko malaman sino makapagsasabi kung sino ako?

from left: Bernardo Bernardo (Haring Lear) shoves ¬¬¬McDonnel Bolanos (Hari ng Francia). Studio Connection’s HARING LEAR can be seen at the CSB SDA Theater from February 27 to March 8, 2015. HARING LEAR is also part of the FRINGE MANILA Multi arts festival. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Bernardo Bernardo (Haring Lear) shoves McDonnel Bolanos (Hari ng Francia). Studio Connection’s HARING LEAR can be seen at the CSB SDA Theater from February 27 to March 8, 2015. HARING LEAR is also part of the FRINGE MANILA Multi arts festival. Photo by Jude Bautista

Rather unexpectedly, especially in the beginning where Lear divides up his kingdom to his heirs, Bernardo has a booming voice befitting a king. He laughs heartily of man contented, in power relinquishing his authority to his children. Bernardo takes control of a role that also fits his stature, now at 70. His acting is not any less powerful than it was, perhaps even more so now than ever before.

CURTAIN CALL from left: Rhenwyn Gabalonzo (Edmundo), McDonnel Bolanos (Hari ng Francia), Jason Barcial (Duke ng Burgonia), Buddy Caramat (Goneril), Bernardo Bernardo (Haring Lear), Abner Delina Jr (Cordelia/Lakayo), Renante Bustamante (Duke ng Albanya), Jeff Hernandez (Duke ng Cornualles), George de Jesus III (Regan), and Lambert de Jesus (Kent). Studio Connection’s HARING LEAR can be seen at the CSB SDA Theater from February 27 to March 8, 2015. HARING LEAR is also part of the FRINGE MANILA Multi arts festival. Photo by Jude Bautista

CURTAIN CALL from left: McDonnel Bolanos (Hari ng Francia), Jason Barcial (Duke ng Burgonia), Buddy Caramat (Goneril), Bernardo Bernardo (Haring Lear), Abner Delina Jr (Cordelia/Lakayo), Renante Bustamante (Duke ng Albanya), Jeff Hernandez (Duke ng Cornualles), George de Jesus III (Regan), and Lambert de Jesus (Kent). Studio Connection’s HARING LEAR can be seen at the CSB SDA Theater from February 27 to March 8, 2015. HARING LEAR is also part of the FRINGE MANILA Multi arts festival. Photo by Jude Bautista

The physicality of it all though makes one cringe. While there are no spectacular dance moves, there is the ‘wet’ scene where a tempest nearly drowns everyone in its path. AND it really does get wet on stage most especially for Haring Lear. Being in focus delivering lines, in the throes of madness and despair while water is endlessly splashing on your face is no mean feat. He more than delivers, his performance takes you to a dark place you wish you’d never have to visit.

Bernardo Bernardo (Haring Lear); Studio Connection’s HARING LEAR can be seen at the CSB SDA Theater from February 27 to March 8, 2015. HARING LEAR is also part of the FRINGE MANILA Multi arts festival. Photo by Jude Bautista

Bernardo Bernardo (Haring Lear); Studio Connection’s HARING LEAR can be seen at the CSB SDA Theater from February 27 to March 8, 2015. HARING LEAR is also part of the FRINGE MANILA Multi arts festival. Photo by Jude Bautista

This is the acting we know from Bernardo Bernardo who was part of Ishmael Bernal’s City After Dark. Although the majority of Filipinos have come to know him as Steve Carpio in HOME ALONG DA RILES with Comedy King the late Dolphy. Recently Bernardo was also in the Cinemalaya film RONDA starring Ai Ai Delas Alas.

Bernardo is a true performer. He had an allergic reaction to the wrong make up applied on opening night to the point of being hospitalized. In spite of this he was able to get back on stage the next night.

from right: PETA Playwright & Poet Anj Heruela, Bernardo Bernardo (Haring Lear), Kakki Teodoro , Rhenwyn Gabalonzo (Edmundo) & fan. Studio Connection’s HARING LEAR can be seen at the CSB SDA Theater from February 27 to March 8, 2015. HARING LEAR is also part of the FRINGE MANILA Multi arts festival. Photo by Jude Bautista

from right: PETA Playwright & Poet Anj Heruela, Bernardo Bernardo (Haring Lear), Kakki Teodoro , Rhenwyn Gabalonzo (Edmundo) & fan. Studio Connection’s HARING LEAR can be seen at the CSB SDA Theater from February 27 to March 8, 2015. HARING LEAR is also part of the FRINGE MANILA Multi arts festival. Photo by Jude Bautista

This particular play adapted by National Artist for Literature Bienvenido Lumbera had lead Teroy Guzman in PETA’s previous run last 2012. Even then it was well received by critics. So Bernardo being able to put his own stamp on it is even more remarkable.

Garry Lim (Gloster); Studio Connection’s HARING LEAR can be seen at the CSB SDA Theater from February 27 to March 8, 2015. HARING LEAR is also part of the FRINGE MANILA Multi arts festival. Photo by Jude Bautista

Garry Lim (Gloster); Studio Connection’s HARING LEAR can be seen at the CSB SDA Theater from February 27 to March 8, 2015. HARING LEAR is also part of the FRINGE MANILA Multi arts festival. Photo by Jude Bautista

Another veteran actor is Garry Lim as Gloster, the ever-faithful nobleman of Haring Lear. Garry Lim was also part of the previous cast as Regan. Lim is the most tortured in a tragic cast of characters. Lim is able to give this role a sense of patience and fortitude in the face of the most difficult circumstances. Filipino words and lines roll off his tongue eloquently. Lim has also had a great number of Cinemalaya films- APARISYON, REQUIEME and AMOK roles on TV and commercial projects as well: MY LITTLE BOSSINGS, SI AGIMAT SI ENTENG KABISOTE AT SI AKO.

Buddy Caramat (Goneril); Studio Connection’s HARING LEAR can be seen at the CSB SDA Theater from February 27 to March 8, 2015. HARING LEAR is also part of the FRINGE MANILA Multi arts festival. Photo by Jude Bautista

Buddy Caramat (Goneril); Studio Connection’s HARING LEAR can be seen at the CSB SDA Theater from February 27 to March 8, 2015. HARING LEAR is also part of the FRINGE MANILA Multi arts festival. Photo by Jude Bautista

The sisters and heirs to Lear are the ones that give the color of blood in this grey end of the world scenario. Buddy Camarat is Goneril the eldest strung out in heroin. She is the most whimsical of the cast having a singsong delivery to her lines. Buddy inhabits this female role quite easily, just like her onstage sister George De Jesus III who plays Regan. Both of them have come back to reprise their previous roles. While Buddy’s attack is more sensual and avaricious, George has that female touch of violence. These two ‘evil’ sisters aren’t antagonistic per se; they only hatch their treachery in order to extend control and power. In that sense we meet people like Goneril and Regan every day.

from left: Buddy Caramat (Goneril), George De Jesus III (Regan) and Jeff Hernandez (Duke ng Cornualles). Studio Connection’s HARING LEAR can be seen at the CSB SDA Theater from February 27 to March 8, 2015. HARING LEAR is also part of the FRINGE MANILA Multi arts festival. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Buddy Caramat (Goneril), George De Jesus III (Regan) and Jeff Hernandez (Duke ng Cornualles). Studio Connection’s HARING LEAR can be seen at the CSB SDA Theater from February 27 to March 8, 2015. HARING LEAR is also part of the FRINGE MANILA Multi arts festival. Photo by Jude Bautista

George De Jesus III (Regan); Studio Connection’s HARING LEAR can be seen at the CSB SDA Theater from February 27 to March 8, 2015. HARING LEAR is also part of the FRINGE MANILA Multi arts festival. Photo by Jude Bautista

George De Jesus III (Regan); Studio Connection’s HARING LEAR can be seen at the CSB SDA Theater from February 27 to March 8, 2015. HARING LEAR is also part of the FRINGE MANILA Multi arts festival. Photo by Jude Bautista

Abner Delina Jr who has also repeated his role from 2012 plays the youngest sister Cordelia. Here she is more a victim among the viciousness of her sisters. The more interesting side role for Abner is Lakayo, the court jester. For this version of HARING LEAR there is this puppet that has a demented look. Abner switches from using his own face, which has in turn a mask behind his head. There’s a real schizoid quality in Lakayo alone switching from the puppet to his ‘real’ face.

Abner Delina Jr.  as jester Lakayo; Studio Connection’s HARING LEAR can be seen at the CSB SDA Theater from February 27 to March 8, 2015. HARING LEAR is also part of the FRINGE MANILA Multi arts festival. Photo by Jude Bautista

Abner Delina Jr. as jester Lakayo; Studio Connection’s HARING LEAR can be seen at the CSB SDA Theater from February 27 to March 8, 2015. HARING LEAR is also part of the FRINGE MANILA Multi arts festival. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Nico Dans (Edgardo) & Garry Lim (Gloster). Studio Connection’s HARING LEAR can be seen at the CSB SDA Theater from February 27 to March 8, 2015. HARING LEAR is also part of the FRINGE MANILA Multi arts festival. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Nico Dans (Edgardo) & Garry Lim (Gloster). Studio Connection’s HARING LEAR can be seen at the CSB SDA Theater from February 27 to March 8, 2015. HARING LEAR is also part of the FRINGE MANILA Multi arts festival. Photo by Jude Bautista

Edgardo played by the hefty Nico Dans must have been very challenging to play as his character goes through insanity and back again. His is certainly the most physical. In one scene he literally falls off stage simulating a fall off a hill. Audiences could hear a solid thud from his wide body’s landing.

Roi Calilong is the servant Oswaldo but his non-speaking role as Death is even more interesting. In this post apocalyptic world, Death is only wearing speedos underneath a black cape and gyrates like Channing Tatum in MAGIC MIKE.

Nico Dans (Death); Studio Connection’s HARING LEAR can be seen at the CSB SDA Theater from February 27 to March 8, 2015. HARING LEAR is also part of the FRINGE MANILA Multi arts festival. Photo by Jude Bautista

Roi Calilong (Death); Studio Connection’s HARING LEAR can be seen at the CSB SDA Theater from February 27 to March 8, 2015. HARING LEAR is also part of the FRINGE MANILA Multi arts festival. Photo by Jude Bautista

Rhenwyn Gabalonzo (Edmundo) shoots heroin into Buddy Caramat (Goneril’s) arm. Studio Connection’s HARING LEAR can be seen at the CSB SDA Theater from February 27 to March 8, 2015. HARING LEAR is also part of the FRINGE MANILA Multi arts festival. Photo by Jude Bautista

Rhenwyn Gabalonzo (Edmundo) shoots heroin into Buddy Caramat (Goneril’s) arm. Studio Connection’s HARING LEAR can be seen at the CSB SDA Theater from February 27 to March 8, 2015. HARING LEAR is also part of the FRINGE MANILA Multi arts festival. Photo by Jude Bautista

Rhenwyn Gabalonzo as Edmundo is the most scheming and treacherous character here. Jess Evardone a veteran of independent films has even more multiple roles here as Tagapaglingkod, Matandang lalaki, Duktor ni Cordelia and Eraldo. Evardone is able to inhabit each role with sincerity and believability as he has done countless times before.

Jess Evardone (Matandang Lalaki/Duktor); Studio Connection’s HARING LEAR can be seen at the CSB SDA Theater from February 27 to March 8, 2015. HARING LEAR is also part of the FRINGE MANILA Multi arts festival. Photo by Jude Bautista

Jess Evardone (Matandang Lalaki/Duktor); Studio Connection’s HARING LEAR can be seen at the CSB SDA Theater from February 27 to March 8, 2015. HARING LEAR is also part of the FRINGE MANILA Multi arts festival. Photo by Jude Bautista

Every single actor and cast member has done a fantastic job, a true ensemble piece: Lambert De Jesus (Kent), Roi Calilong (Oswaldo), Renante Bustamante (Duke Ng Albanya), Jason Barcial (Duke Ng Burgonia), Jeff Hernandez (Duke Ng Cornualles) and McDonnel Bolaños (Hari Ng Francia). Inevitably we come back to the leader, Bernardo Bernardo, commandeering the powerful but heartrending figure of Lear as his own.

CURTAIN CALL from left: Garry Lim (Gloster), Rhenwyn Gabalonzo (Edmundo), McDonnel Bolanos (Hari ng Francia), Jason Barcial (Duke ng Burgonia), Buddy Caramat (Goneril), Bernardo Bernardo (Haring Lear), Abner Delina Jr (Cordelia/Lakayo), Renante Bustamante (Duke ng albanya), Jeff Hernandez (Duke ng Cornualles), George de Jesus III (Regan), Lambert de Jesus (Kent) and Jess Evardone (Matandang Lalaki/Duktor). Studio Connection’s HARING LEAR can be seen at the CSB SDA Theater from February 27 to March 8, 2015. HARING LEAR is also part of the FRINGE MANILA Multi arts festival. Photo by Jude Bautista

CURTAIN CALL from left: Garry Lim (Gloster), Rhenwyn Gabalonzo (Edmundo), McDonnel Bolanos (Hari ng Francia), Jason Barcial (Duke ng Burgonia), Buddy Caramat (Goneril), Bernardo Bernardo (Haring Lear), Abner Delina Jr (Cordelia/Lakayo), Renante Bustamante (Duke ng albanya), Jeff Hernandez (Duke ng Cornualles), George de Jesus III (Regan), Lambert de Jesus (Kent) and Jess Evardone (Matandang Lalaki/Duktor). Studio Connection’s HARING LEAR can be seen at the CSB SDA Theater from February 27 to March 8, 2015. HARING LEAR is also part of the FRINGE MANILA Multi arts festival. Photo by Jude Bautista

from right: Bernardo Bernardo (Haring Lear), Abner Delina Jr. (Cordelia) & Rhenwyn Gabalonzo (Edmundo). Studio Connection’s HARING LEAR can be seen at the CSB SDA Theater from February 27 to March 8, 2015. HARING LEAR is also part of the FRINGE MANILA Multi arts festival. Photo by Jude Bautista

from right: Bernardo Bernardo (Haring Lear), Abner Delina Jr. (Cordelia) & Rhenwyn Gabalonzo (Edmundo). Studio Connection’s HARING LEAR can be seen at the CSB SDA Theater from February 27 to March 8, 2015. HARING LEAR is also part of the FRINGE MANILA Multi arts festival. Photo by Jude Bautista

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from left: Renante Bustamante (Duke ng Albanya) & George De Jesus III (Regan) in wheelchair while Nico Dans (Death) looks over her. Studio Connection’s HARING LEAR can be seen at the CSB SDA Theater from February 27 to March 8, 2015. HARING LEAR is also part of the FRINGE MANILA Multi arts festival. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Renante Bustamante (Duke ng Albanya) & George De Jesus III (Regan) in wheelchair while Nico Dans (Death) looks over her. Studio Connection’s HARING LEAR can be seen at the CSB SDA Theater from February 27 to March 8, 2015. HARING LEAR is also part of the FRINGE MANILA Multi arts festival. Photo by Jude Bautista

Jeff Hernandez (Duke ng Cornualles); Studio Connection’s HARING LEAR can be seen at the CSB SDA Theater from February 27 to March 8, 2015. HARING LEAR is also part of the FRINGE MANILA Multi arts festival. Photo by Jude Bautista

Jeff Hernandez (Duke ng Cornualles); Studio Connection’s HARING LEAR can be seen at the CSB SDA Theater from February 27 to March 8, 2015. HARING LEAR is also part of the FRINGE MANILA Multi arts festival. Photo by Jude Bautista

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from left: Jeff Hernandez (Duke ng Cornualles), George De Jesus III (Regan), Garry Lim (Gloster). Studio Connection’s HARING LEAR can be seen at the CSB SDA Theater from February 27 to March 8, 2015. HARING LEAR is also part of the FRINGE MANILA Multi arts festival. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Jeff Hernandez (Duke ng Cornualles), George De Jesus III (Regan), Garry Lim (Gloster). Studio Connection’s HARING LEAR can be seen at the CSB SDA Theater from February 27 to March 8, 2015. HARING LEAR is also part of the FRINGE MANILA Multi arts festival. Photo by Jude Bautista

Abner Delina Jr. (Cordelia); Studio Connection’s HARING LEAR can be seen at the CSB SDA Theater from February 27 to March 8, 2015. HARING LEAR is also part of the FRINGE MANILA Multi arts festival. Photo by Jude Bautista

Abner Delina Jr. (Cordelia); Studio Connection’s HARING LEAR can be seen at the CSB SDA Theater from February 27 to March 8, 2015. HARING LEAR is also part of the FRINGE MANILA Multi arts festival. Photo by Jude Bautista

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from left: Garry Lim (Gloster) & Nico Dans (Edgardo). Studio Connection’s HARING LEAR can be seen at the CSB SDA Theater from February 27 to March 8, 2015. HARING LEAR is also part of the FRINGE MANILA Multi arts festival. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Garry Lim (Gloster) & Nico Dans (Edgardo). Studio Connection’s HARING LEAR can be seen at the CSB SDA Theater from February 27 to March 8, 2015. HARING LEAR is also part of the FRINGE MANILA Multi arts festival. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: McDonnel Bolanos (Hari ng Francia) & Abner Delina Jr. (Cordelia). Studio Connection’s HARING LEAR can be seen at the CSB SDA Theater from February 27 to March 8, 2015. HARING LEAR is also part of the FRINGE MANILA Multi arts festival. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: McDonnel Bolanos (Hari ng Francia) & Abner Delina Jr. (Cordelia). Studio Connection’s HARING LEAR can be seen at the CSB SDA Theater from February 27 to March 8, 2015. HARING LEAR is also part of the FRINGE MANILA Multi arts festival. Photo by Jude Bautista

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from left: Lambert de Jesus (Kent) & Nico Dans (Edgardo); Studio Connection’s HARING LEAR can be seen at the CSB SDA Theater from February 27 to March 8, 2015. HARING LEAR is also part of the FRINGE MANILA Multi arts festival. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Lambert de Jesus (Kent) & Nico Dans (Edgardo); Studio Connection’s HARING LEAR can be seen at the CSB SDA Theater from February 27 to March 8, 2015. HARING LEAR is also part of the FRINGE MANILA Multi arts festival. Photo by Jude Bautista

Garry Lim (Gloster); Studio Connection’s HARING LEAR can be seen at the CSB SDA Theater from February 27 to March 8, 2015. HARING LEAR is also part of the FRINGE MANILA Multi arts festival. Photo by Jude Bautista

Garry Lim (Gloster); Studio Connection’s HARING LEAR can be seen at the CSB SDA Theater from February 27 to March 8, 2015. HARING LEAR is also part of the FRINGE MANILA Multi arts festival. Photo by Jude Bautista

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top Buddy Caramat (Goneril) & bottom Rhenwyn Gabalonzo (Edmundo). Studio Connection’s HARING LEAR can be seen at the CSB SDA Theater from February 27 to March 8, 2015. HARING LEAR is also part of the FRINGE MANILA Multi arts festival. Photo by Jude Bautista

top Buddy Caramat (Goneril) & bottom Rhenwyn Gabalonzo (Edmundo). Studio Connection’s HARING LEAR can be seen at the CSB SDA Theater from February 27 to March 8, 2015. HARING LEAR is also part of the FRINGE MANILA Multi arts festival. Photo by Jude Bautista

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