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Haoxuezi Tian
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Famous actress Cecilia Yip performs in the stage play 'King Lear' in England

"Tang Shu-Wing decided to explore the infinite possibilities with a bold and original style. The adapted 'King Lear' is a new star." — The Theater Times

"Tang Shu-Wing's silent physical drama 'King Lear', using gestures, physical interactions, and occasional shouts, immerses the audience in Shakespeare's tragedy. The all-female cast is a counterattack against the misogyny often found in many of Shakespeare's plays." — South China Morning Post

One of Shakespeare's famous four great tragedies, 'King Lear' tells the story of King Lear, who is deceived by the flattering words of two of his daughters and disperses his kingdom to them, yet he becomes extremely disappointed and angry with his youngest daughter who sincerely loves him and says, 'My love for you cannot be expressed in words,' eventually leading to his desolate wandering and profound grief. Can words truly reflect the actual truth?

Directed by Hong Kong director Tang Shu-Wing, 鄧樹榮, and starring famous film star Cecilia Yip, 葉童, the physical theatre production of 'King Lear' kicks off this year's European tour in London. Cecilia Yip has won the 'Performer of the Year' award from the International Association of Theatre Critics (IATC-HK) for this play, while Tang Shu-Wing has also received the 'Director of the Year' award again for this work, and the sound designer Anthony Yeung was nominated for 'Best Sound Design' at the Hong Kong Stage Awards.

Cecilia Yip will star as King Lear and this play uses a nonverbal Theatre of Gesture, transcending traditional boundaries while remaining quintessentially Shakespearean. The physical theatre production, featuring an all-female cast from Hong Kong and the National Theatre Marin Sorescu of Craiova, promises a provocative and rarely-seen performance of this classic, built on highly minimalistic and stylized aesthetics created by a team of visionary artists from Hong Kong. Whether it is for hearing individuals, the hearing impaired, or those who speak different languages, everyone can find intellectual and emotional common ground in this silent physical drama, achieving self-expression and exploration.

"From the inside out, the actors on stage are very capable of grasping and utilizing this aspect. Cecilia Yip's performance as King Lear and Cassandra Tang, 邓天心,  as the youngest daughter and fool are particularly outstanding. One can imagine that Cecilia Yip trusts the stage, the director, and her co-actors completely, which is a state of wholeheartedness; otherwise, it would seem timid. Her high-energy physical movements on stage are in no way inferior, including a scene where she must fall to the ground from a chair three times, which is forceful yet smooth, showing appropriate struggle and control over her body." — International Association of Theatre Critics (Hong Kong Branch) author Liang Zi, 梁子

This production premiered in Hong Kong in 2021, was performed in Shanghai in 2023, and its performances at Riverside Studios mark its UK premiere, beginning a tour with dates in Craiova, Romania; Berlin, Germany; and a return to Hong Kong for the 1st edition of the International Shakespeare Festival in Hong Kong.

"The actors deftly convey the inner through the outer." — International Association of Theater Critics

"The main purpose of this performance of 'King Lear' is not to explore the performability of Shakespeare's original text, its ethical thoughts, or the flattery between individuals which is difficult to express through words. However, the competition and conflicts of interest between the characters form a series of concise and powerful images on a minimalist stage, profoundly impacting the audience's hearts!" — Theatre critic Folin

London performance dates: May 2-3, 7-11 at 19:30

May 3, 11, 12 at 15:00

Location: Riverside Studio (101 Queen Caroline St, W6 9BN, London Hammersmith station)

For more details: Riverside Studios


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