Yellow Earth Theatre
A co-production with
Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre
By William Shakespeare
Adapted and directed by David Tse Ka-Shing
Yellow Earth Theatre (YET), the award-winning East Asian theatre company, has joined forces with China’s contemporary Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre (SDAC) to present a brand new adaptation of KING LEAR this Autumn. YET and SDAC’s exciting, first time co-production offers up a bold and edgy interpretation of Shakespeare’s classic tragedy, featuring Chinese movie star, Zhou Yemang (Temptress Moon) as Lear and David Yip (The Chinese Detective) as Gloucester.
KING LEAR premieres internationally at SDAC in Shanghai on 20 October 2006 and plays through to 4 November. The production then comes to the UK and tours throughout November and December. Forming part of the RSC’s season of The Complete Works, The Cube at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon is the venue for the first UK performances and the production receives its national press night at The Cube on Thursday 16 November 7.30pm.
Performed in English and Mandarin (with surtitles in both languages), this unique, bilingual production is a diverse new exploration of the themes of the famous tragedy.
David Tse Ka-Shing transposes the action of KING LEAR to London and Shanghai in 2020. The business world has shifted and China is the leading superpower. Corporate money and power protect a privileged elite who live above the law. Lear looks out from his penthouse across Shanghai’s financial district. He has called a video-conference to decide how his global business empire will be divided amongst his three daughters. Greed and the desire for control leads to a trail of deceit, betrayal, lust and murder. As Lear suffers and searches for Taoist enlightenment, what hope is there for love?
In revisiting KING LEAR, David Tse Ka-Shing’s adaptation provides a challenging cross-cultural interpretation – matters of East and West, China and Britain’s identities, Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism, spiritual and financial wealth, family loyalty and generational divides are all here. YET’s visually striking production draws on video, music and aerial work.
“Directed by David Tse Ka-Shing, this stylish production has moments of soaring beauty”
Time Out (The Nightingale)
“Tse creates a magical world onstage in which an eldritch fable exists in a world of high-tech sophistication” The Guardian (Lear’s Daughters)
Yellow Earth Theatre gratefully acknowledge the support of:
Arts Council England, British Council China, See Woo Foods Ltd, Arts & Business,Garfield Weston Foundation, David Tang, Shaftsbury Plc, China Chopstix,Tomkins Plc, Sonny Ong