From June 6th to 8th, Japanese theatre master Tadashi Suzuki will reappear at the NCPA with the SCOT to stage King Lear to kick off the NCPA International Theatre Festival 2019. This version of King Lear, which will star artists from China, Japan, South Korea, the USA, and Russia, will be put on stage.
King Lear is one of the masterpieces adapted from classic Shakespearean plays by Tadashi Suzuki after he founded the SCOT, and had its premiere on December 28th, 1984. In 1998, Suzuki made this version into the opera The Story of King Lear, which was premiered in Munich, Germany. In Shakespeare’s King Lear, the King of Britain Lear distributes his kingdom among his eldest daughter Goneril and second daughter Regan, who butter him up, while his youngest daughter Cordelia, who bares her heart to him, is deprived of the right of succession. Soon after his abdication, Lear is cast out by his eldest daughter and second daughter. In order to help him, his youngest daughter Cordelia sends a punitive expedition against her sisters, only to be cruelly killed. Meanwhile, the Earl of Gloucester falls into a fight for power between his two sons Edmund and Edgar, who commit fratricide for the right of succession, causing their father to have his eyes gouged out and leave home.
Since it was written 400 years ago, King Lear has been adapted and staged again and again owing to its artistic charm and immortality. Suzuki’s version of King Lear looks like a “modern drama” and carries the director’s personal style and features. King Lear begins in a mental hospital, where an old man, who doesn’t have his family members beside him but stays lonely in the hospital waiting for death, listens to a nurse reading King Lear and remembers his whole life, thinking of his children’s betrayal to him, imagining himself as the protagonist in the story of sadness.
Suzuki’s version of King Lear is performed by artists of different nationalities in their mother tongue, revealing not only the internationality of this world-class classic drama, but also the unique charm of the “Suzuki Method”. In this version of King Lear, which will soon be staged at the NCPA International Theatre Festival 2019, the Chinese actor TIAN Chong will play the Earl of Gloucester’s son Edgar and ZHANG Yuyu will play Lear’s youngest daughter Cordelia. TIAN Chong, who performed very well in the drama Dionysus directed by Suzuki, once played “Lear” in the drama King Lear. As one of Suzuki’s masterpieces of his distinct aesthetic style, King Lear not only reveals his unique cross-cultural perspective in his drama creation, but also reflects his unique aesthetic style that makes him devoted to combining the traditional Japanese noh theater culture with modern drama. The space sense of theatre and body motion capacity of performers will be presented and released in this version of King Lear.