The Shadow King

Barbican

The Shadow King

22 Jun 2016 - 02 Jul 2016

£16.00 - £38.00

Pro reviewers rating
6 reviews

3.2 out of 5.0
Peer reviewers rating
0 reviews

0.0 out of 5.0

Lear is the head of a remote community wrangling over mining rights, inheritance and wealth. His story descends into madness and brutality against the red earth of the Australian outback, dominated by the imposing presence and blinding lights of a mining truck. 

Transporting King Lear to the story-rich and resource-laden terrain of northern Australia, The Shadow King reimagines Shakespeare’s tragedy as a blood-soaked tale of two indigenous families divided by land, identity and legitimacy. Told through modern English, Kriol languages and with a score performed live by an onstage band, the production fuses new text, video and Aboriginal 'dreamtime' songs to create provocative theatre. 

Ages 12+

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“One of the best free adaptations of a play I have ever seen. Thoughtful, intelligent, sensitive and deft... linguistically agile”

Ian Shuttleworth (Financial Times)

“This reimagining of Lear in the Australian outback is eloquent about territory and land rights. ”

Tim Bano (The Stage, Time Out)

“Aboriginal remake of ‘King Lear'... hugely uneven but thematically rich, and not without its moments. ”

Bella Todd (The Stage, Arts Desk, Time Out)

“Fragments of Shakespeare’s text... are stirred into a rich stew... in which something borrowed becomes something new. ”

Lyn Gardner (The Guardian)

“Lewis is a robust, swaggering Lear, and his singing and exuberant use of movement brings a new dimension... Bani is outstanding.”

Jane Kemp (What's On Stage)

“At times too free to be Lear, and not quite free enough to be entirely its own thing. ”

Dominic Maxwell (The Times)

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