Belarus Free Theatre's

King Lear

February 5 - 14, 2016

Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare

A World's Stage Production
from Belarus
by William Shakespeare
directed by Vladimir Shcherban
adapted by Nicolai Khalezin

Critical Acclaim

The Guardian
This not-to-be-missed King Lear that feels like a great howl of rage suffused with mortality and absurdity...If you've seen these Belarusians before, you'll already know they are the real deal: artists who have paid such a steep personal price to pursue their calling that high dramatic stakes come with preternatural ease. So, too, does ferocious satire — which, you might be surprised to read, is a crucial part of their stunning King Lear”

The Guardian
Their chaotic, subversive, brutally edited, brilliantly inventive and almost unbearable King Lear destroys any conventional notion of what ‘acting’ might be. Eschewing any psychological depth and courting a sense of humor that I did not believe possible in this, the bleakest of Shakespeare’s plays, they engage in a pageant of anarchy that proves unforgettable. In a society that has no freedom, they seem to suggest, even beauty must be painful.”

The Guardian
A unique experience, and though the actors speak a language that is uncommon even in their home country, their voices are strong, and they are clear masters of their craft.

The Guardian
Beautifully staged... The production gives us a glimpse of what it must be like to live under a whimsically irrational dictatorship.”

The Guardian
 The company bring an energy and passion to their performances that transcends speech. Their Lear is a complex, visceral piece of theatre, a skewed looking glass journey told by a company for whom voice and visibility, the ability to be seen and heard, remains all important.

The Guardian
 One of the greatest productions of King Lear London has ever seen…It shook the Globe from the yard to the rafters. If this ever gets put on in London again, you have no excuse not to see it.”

Simple staging and strong performances made for a thrilling couple of hours."

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