This weekend, just for the fun of it, watch Brian Ditchfield descend into madness. No, it’s not cabin fever (although that could help get him into character), it’s a production of King Lear performed by the Shakespeare for the Masses theatre troupe.

Mr. Ditchfield, also the director of the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival (just two weeks away), will embrace the title role in this Shakespearean classic about a king who divides his estate among two of this three daughters. Needless to say this does not go well. Or as George Bernard Shaw once said of the play, “No man will ever write a better tragedy than Lear.”

The performances are on Saturday, March 7, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, March 8, at 3:30 p.m., and take place at the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse, 24 Church street, Vineyard Haven. The troupe condenses the words of the master bard so that each show is only an hour — Shakespeare in bite-size nuggets so all can take part in the cultural meal. The shows are also free.

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