23 October | 18:00
“I. L. Caragiale” National Theatre, Sala Mare (Big Hall)
King Lear is set in the court of an ageing British monarch. Shakespeare probably wrote it in around 1604, sandwiched between two other great tragedies, Othello and Macbeth.
The old King Lear calls his nobles together to announce his intention to pass on the cares and responsibility of monarchy to his three daughters, with whom he means to live on a rota basis. His eldest, Goneril, is married to the Duke of Albany, and his middle child, Regan, is married to the Duke of Cornwall. At the court are the Duke of Burgundy and the King of France, both hoping to marry Lear’s youngest (and favourite) daughter, Cordelia.
Before dividing his kingdom, however, Lear challenges his daughters to prove which of them loves him best. His two elder daughters make passionate speeches about the depth of their love for him, but his youngest, horrified by their excesses, refuses to say anything. Her unwillingness to exaggerate her feelings enrages Lear and he banishes her forever. He divides his country between his elder daughters and their husbands.
Cordelia leaves with the King of France who loves her more now that she has proved her honesty. Lear soon discovers that, by passing his authority to his daughters, he has damaged his relationship with them so much, that he is refused a home with either of them. He finds himself banished into a storm with only his Fool (a jester) and the disguised Kent for company. As he descends into madness he learns the error of his ways.
As Cordelia’s French army prepares to meet that led by her sisters and their husbands, she is reconciled with Lear, who begs her forgiveness. Gloucester too is reunited with Lear. The sisters’ army still manages to defeat that of Cordelia. Both Cordelia and Lear are imprisoned by Edmund, who plans that Cordelia should be hanged in prison. In the final scene, Lear enters carrying Cordelia’s dead body. The agony of loss upon loss breaks Lear’s heart and he too dies.
Translated by: Violeta Popa
Stage version: Mașa Dinescu
King Lear of Britain: Mihai Constantin
The Jester: Marius Manole
The Count of Gloucester: Ioan Andrei Ionescu
The Count of Kent: Gavril Pătru
Goneril: Monica Davidescu
Cordelia: Crina Semciuc
Regan: Raluca Aprodu
Edgar, Gloucester’s son: Istvan Teglas
Edmund, Gloucester’s illegitimate son: Tudor Aaron Istodor
Oswald, Goneril’s steward: Lari Giorgescu
The Duke of Cornwall: Silviu Mircescu
The Duke of Albany: Rareș Andrici
The Duke of Burgundy: Pavel Ulici
King of France: Idris Clate
Directed by: David Doiashvili
Sets: David Doiashvili
Costumes: Liliana Cenean
Choreography: Florin Fieroiu
Original Score: Nikoloz Rachveli Memanishvili
Light Design: David Doiashvili
Duration: 3 h 30 min (with intermission)
“I. L. Caragiale: National Theatre, Bucharest