Lear Dreaming

TheatreWorks (Singapore)
Conceived and directed by Ong Keng Sen

Festival Commission
World Premiere

31 May (Thu) & 1 June (Fri) 2012
Drama Theatre, School of The Arts

Performed in Bahasa Indonesia, Japanese, Mandarin and Korean with English subtitles.

Fifteen years after 1997, Ong revisits his Lear to create a new performance, distilled and visionary, entering one man’s mind, a past king and his memories: Lear Dreaming.

In a present time where giants fall and lines of power are redrawn, Lear Dreaming reimagines this tragedy on patriarchy and succession through the pristine philosophy of Japanese Noh theatre. The turbulence of King Lear’s humanity, time’s passing, and transience become an allegory of the world today.

Lear, directed by 2010 Fukuoka Prize for Arts and Culture recipient Ong Keng Sen, was a groundbreaking intercultural theatre production based on Shakespeare’s King Lear. First produced by the Japan Foundation Asia Centre in 1997, the work premiered to critical reception in Tokyo, Osaka and Fukuoka. In 1999, it toured to six cities in Asia-Pacific and Europe including the Theater der Welt in Berlin.

Ong’s Learbrought stunning discourse to the place of Asia and its art, both traditional and contemporary, and remains a classic referenced internationally.

Noh master-performer Umewaka Naohiko will re-enact his role as Lear, 15 years later. The only actor on stage, he is accompanied by some of the brightest stars of Asia’s music cultures: contemporary pipa exponent Wu Man; Kang Kwon Soon, a leading vocalist in traditional Korean court music, junga; Piterman, a specialist in the Minang music-dance-theatre of Sumatra; electronica expert Toru Yamanaka; and celebrated composer Rahayu Supanggah with his contemporary ensemble of gamelan musicians.

Lear Dreaming also features creations by Ong’s long-standing collaborators in design by Justin Hill (set), Scott Zielinski (lights), Mitsushi Yanaihara (costumes) and newcomer to the ‘live’ stage, graphics artist Hanson Ho.

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For additional information on the Singapore Arts Festival 2012, please go to: www.singaporeartsfest.com

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