Why, this would make a man a man of salt,
To use his eyes for garden water-pots,
Ay, and laying autumn's dust.
(King Lear, Act IV, scene 6)
Commissioned by the Lausanne Shakespeare Festival, performed on May 19th 2017 at the Grange de Dorigny
Co-directed by Sarah Jane Moloney & Roelof Overmeer
Performed by Benjamin Davies, Rebecca Frey, Vincent Laughery, Sarah Jane Moloney, Roelof Overmeer, Alisa Steinhauser & Josefa Terribilini
Music composed by Pascal Desarzens
Music performed by Quatuor Solem (Pascal Desarzens, Denitsa Kazakova, Olivier Piguet & Céline Portat)
Photo © Armando Pégaitaz
Audience review by Aleida Auld, teaching and research assistant at the University of Geneva:
"I was taken aback, but ultimately won over, by the production’s decision to precede Lear’s ‘love test’ with a lengthy, meditative piece by an on-stage string quartet. As the music played, the characters gradually entered and positioned themselves by and around warped and semi-transparent screens suspended from the ceiling. The characters’ dynamic arrangement framed the entire production, conveying their isolated experiences and distorted perspectives, as well as the unpredictably shifting loyalties at court. [...] A single perspective was insufficient; collective and multiple visions were necessary. [...]
Fundamental to the aesthetic and interpretative force of the production was the music, composed by Lausannois cellist Pascal Desarzens and executed by Quatuor Solem. The on-stage string quartet was barely visible through a gauze divider, except when lit overhead while delivering their pieces. The omnipresence of the musicians and their anxious melodic interventions suggested that there is an internal music that haunts, and emanates from, our lives. [...]
This was a thoughtful production, jointly directed and memorably executed. After being slain in the final catastrophe, the characters rose and formed a line across the stage, gazing out at the audience. They were characters, and they were actors. Throughout the play they had seen awry, but now they looked straight ahead. Kent’s ‘See better, Lear’ was an invitation to all of us to look with honesty and courage at ourselves and our world, rather than opting for easy distortions and convenient misunderstandings, or turning our heads in willful ignorance. Rather than staying behind our screens."
The full review is available here.