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queen lear

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duration 3:00, incl. 1 pauze
premiere 08 Mar 2015


In King Lear, Shakespeare tells the story of an ageing king who must share his kingdom among his three daughters, thus precipitating his own ruin and that of his country. In Tom Lanoye’s Koningin Lear (Queen Lear), the kingdom becomes an international family company managed by the eponymous ‘Leading Lady Lear’.

From small beginnings, the firm has prospered and grown to unimaginable proportions. In Act 1, Leading Lady Lear announces that the company is to be divided up. She demands that her sons take an oath of love and allegiance. The youngest son refuses, with far-reaching consequences. Lanoye paints a portrait of an elderly businesswoman who has lost all sense of reality. She is unable to use her power to solve the very real problems all around her. She is concerned only with popularity and reputation. The piece is unsurpassed in its ability to present the pettiness and powerlessness of a ‘ruler’ unable to cope with unforeseen events.

The title role has been written especially for Frieda Pittoors, one of the grandes dames of Dutch and Flemish theatre.


Eric de Vroedt about Queen Lear

'I feel a strong need to say something about power. Political power, economic power – every form of power. Power is attractive in itself, and can be acquired in virtually every setting. At the same time, this piece is about the loss of power, in this case due to narcissism. My character is a company director who is not particularly concerned with the business but with her own popularity: how much do people love me? Who is likely to betray me? Her empire is being destroyed by conflicts and neglect, but she is oblivious to the problems around her. Her narcissism is complete; she even believes that a storm is directed against her personally; that she is the centre of this chaotic universe. Only her honour and popularity matter to her. Is it not fair to say that we see this attitude all around us today? There is no politician with a solution to the European crisis, the climate crisis or the financial crisis. Does political ‘power’ still exist? Every politician seems to be a desperate, raging Lear caught in a storm.'

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