By William Shakespeare
German by Rainer Iwersen
A king abdicates. He wants to divide his empire among his three daughters; not on the basis of the heirs' respective suitability for government business, but rather on grounds of the daughters' love for their father. The act of state turns into a performance of personal feelings, a competition in the depiction of love. Only Cordelia, the youngest and Lear's most beloved daughter, refuses to perform a public show of emotions and remains silent. By responding to her father's yearning for personal affection most authentically, she becomes the object of his fury. Lear casts her out. He divides the kingdom between her two sisters and sets in motion a catastrophe that ends in violence, chaos, and madness.
Shakespeare's probably darkest drama tells of the self-destruction of a world that has become unreadable to its inhabitants, especially the aged king himself. Signs of power and signs of love overlap, blurring and eluding interpretation. Borders dissolve, rules seem hollow, and rituals ridiculous. The form and content of one's own existence – social roles and personal feelings, self-design and self-realisation – diverge so irreconcilably that the fall into an apocalyptic state of nature appears as a fatal way out.
Directed by: Karin Beier Stage and Costume Design: Johannes Schütz Costume assistant: Astrid Klein Music: Jörg Gollasch Lightning Design: Annette ter Meulen Sound: Shorty Gerriets, Lukas Koopmann Dramaturgy: Christian Tschirner Choreographic assistant: Valentí Rocamora i Torà Artistic trainer: Jevgenij Sitochin