Notes on Lear & Fool
Zounds is venturing into the wonderful world of children’s TV this week, with a cartoon born out of this video of Roger Allam performing King Lear’s speech in the storm.
Roger Allam is a man of many talents, and while many know him as a great Shakespearean actor, British readers with small children (and indeed, one or two without…) will be familiar with his voice as the fatherly narrator of whimsical cartoon Sarah & Duck, which follows the lives of inquisitive youngster Sarah and her best friend Duck. Who is a duck. Watching this video gave me an urge to see these different sides of Roger’s career brought together, so here we are.
Sarah’s design translated surprisingly easily from a little girl to an old man, but I decided it was going a bit too far off-text for the fool to actually be a duck, so instead I made him a man who is vaguely duck-like. A long nose seemed the simplest way to suggest Duck’s bill, and although most characters in the show tend not to have noses, I hope he feels like he could fit into their world. Giving him Sarah’s trademark woolly hat created an extra link to the series, as well as echoing Duck’s round head shape. Once I decided to make him an original character in the vein of the show, it felt right that Cordelia should be one too – but it was too tempting to turn Goneril and Regan into Sarah’s whispery-voiced friends the Ribbon Sisters.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this little departure from my usual style. Goodnight, everyone.