King Lear

One performer with a pair of yellow rainboots is jumping into the large sheet of blue plastic as if diving into the ocean. Water is splattering from the plastic. In the middle stands a performer looking at the abyss

17th May 2012

King Lear, Shakespeare’s great play about speaking the truth was one of the highlights of 2012’s Globe to Globe Festival (part of the World Shakespeare Festival, itself part of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad).

Drawing on their first-hand experience of tyranny and exile, BFT premiered a fresh reading of the text drawing parallels between Lear’s spiralling court and Belarusian society, whilst also interrogating the universality of power unwisely yielded.

A stripped-back set and BFT’s characteristically arresting visual style made this a vigorous and thoroughly contemporary Lear.

Watch a clip of Belarus Free Theatre’s production of King Lear here:

“This not-to-be-missed King Lear that feels like a great howl of rage suffused with mortality and absurdity…If you’ve seen these Belarusians before, you’ll already know they are the real deal: artists who have paid such a steep personal price to pursue their calling that high dramatic stakes come with preternatural ease”

The Chicago Tribune, 7 February 2016