King Lear By William Shakespeare, in a new translation by Marie-Louise Bischofberger, Luc Bondy and Geoffrey Layton, the Fool's songs transcribed by Peter Handke

Stage designer:
Costume designer:
Rudy Sabounghi
Lighting designer:
Dominique Bruguière
Rebecca Saunders
Assistant to the director:
Geoffrey Layton
Dieter Sturm, Wolfgang Wiens
Fight director:
Martin Woldan
Sound designer:
David Müllner
Gerd Böckmann, Andrea Clausen, Michael Gempart, Philipp Hauß, Markus Hering, Johannes Krisch, Florian Lebek, Birgit Minichmayr, Christian Nickel, Caroline Peters, Klaus Pohl, Martin Schwab, Adina Vetter, Moritz Vierboom, Gert Voss, Dirk Warme, Stefan Wieland
Opening night:
29. August
7:00 pm
4 hours 15 minutes, two intervals
30. August
7:00 pm
4 hours 15 minutes, two intervals
Category A
40 €
Category B
30 €
Category C
20 €
Category D
10 €

Lear is King. Everyone has to know-tow to him, but he would prefer to be loved. He sets up a competition between his three daughters: the price of their legacy is the manifestation of their affection for him. The two older daughters fulfil this task eloquently, the youngest one refuses to take part. Enraged, her father disowns her and divides his kingdom between the two other sisters. The words of theFool, spoken to him in warning, are unable to reach him.

Fool  Come place him here by me – Dost thou for him stand:
The sweet and bitter fool will presently appear;
The one in motley here, the other found out there.

Lear Dost thou call me fool, boy?

Fool  All thy other titles thou hast given away; that thou wast born with.

Lear can no longer refuse the Fool’s hat. And the pain, sorrow and rage make him lose his mind. In his fall from highest office into a pariah’s hell, Lear comes to understand that man is nothing more than »a poor, naked, two-legged creature.«

»Lear is the most secretive and deepest play in world literature. Samuel Beckett often pointed out that Lear is unstageable, that the play is impossible to put on. I completely agree with him, and yet at the same time I want to risk it. The story of Lear hides a secondary mirror-story: it tells of another old man, who is deceived and threatened by his illegitimate son and forced by him to cast out his legitimate son. The blinded are allowed no redemption once they can see again – they all have to die, the good as well as the bad. Lear is a drama about the misery of getting old and the impossibility of living up to the young.«
Luc Bondy

A production from the Burgtheater Vienna and the Wiener Festwochen.
Kindly supported by Theater Duisburg.