King Lear Monster Show!
18 May – 5 June 2022
Christ Church, Milton
Content note: KLMS! is suitable for ages 15+ and features simulated violence and drug use, adult themes, language and moments of a highly sexualized nature.
The Curators’ Theatre Company will open their 2022 season with King Lear Monster Show!, a dynamic and edgy adaptation of Shakespeare’s King Lear by Michael Beh and “a gripping descent from hilarity to hell, an evocation of love and law, power and justice, sanity and survival.”
Set in a Fellini-inspired dreamscape of apocalyptic wastelands, this re-visioning is the politically resonant story of an aging and once-powerful king who decides to divide his kingdom between his three daughters. Demanding to be reassured of their love, he invites each to speak. His ambitious and unscrupulous older daughters give false praise and empty declarations of love, whilst his youngest speaks simply and sincerely. Thrown into a rage at her response, Lear sets in motion a series of catastrophic consequences. His former kingdom spirals into chaos, driving him to madness and destroying many lives.
The ensemble comprises Warwick Comber as Lear, Eleonora Ginardi as The “Synth Queen” Fool, Amanda McErlean as Goneril and Sherri Smith as Regan, Lauren Roche as Cordelia, Julia Johnson as “Auntie Jenny” Gloucester, Cameron Hurry as Edgar and Willem Whitfield as his bastard brother, Edmund.
Working with vision creative Nathaniel Knight and Artist in Residence, Ronnie Wakefield, the visual world of KLMS! is filled with three-metre high portraits of the play’s characters; these are intrinsic to the set, and will also be available for purchase at the completion of the run.
The world of the play is a dystopian future: the experiment that was western democracy has collapsed; there has been a dissolution of arbitrary lines that marked states and countries; national allegiances have given way. Between the end of everything and the start of something new, Lear lives. In this twilight world, clothing is all recycled, epoch pop. Masks are de rigueur. The colliding strains of bastardised Beethoven fused with industrial rock linger – because like all divas – Lear loves to dance.