A scene from the play Songs of Lear, photo: Z. Warzyński / Song of the Goat Theatre
Song of the Goat Theatre, one of Europe’s most famous and innovative dance troupes, returns to the Battersea Arts Centre with its London premiere of the famous Shakespearean Songs of Lear. Will the Wrocław gro
Previously, Grzegorz Bral’s avant-garde group amused the Battersea audience with its Polish-Scottish play Return to the Voice, in which the band recreates and reinterprets old Gaelic songs. A few years ago Song of the Goat Theatre presented a musical Macbeth and their already legendary Songs of Lear play, both of which were appreciated at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2012 and awarded with Fringe First and Herald Archangel prizes. Each show gathered crowds and received standing ovations. The British press was also very generous with their compliments for the artists.
If this review was a song, it would be a hallelujah of gratitude – one of The Herald’s enchanted reviewers wrote.
Matt Truman of The List added:
This is essence of Lear, desiccated and condensed; sensed rather than watched and absorbed until it hasn’t just got under your skin, but right into your bone marrow. For the half hour that followed, I was static electricity, too knock-kneed to stand. It is a full-body detox; catharsis pure and simple and transcendent.
The play shows the world of energy and rhythms which govern the Shakespearean drama. The creators of this touching musical show chose key scenes from King Lear, which served as the inspiration for the story – told with gestures, words and music. Each song is the starting point for another “dramatic poem”; music turns into characters, connections and happenings. The shows are coproduced by the Polish Cultural Institute in London and supported by Arts Council England.
Song of the Goat Theatre has it roots in the best Polish traditions of avant-garde theatre, and remains influenced by the works of Konrad Świniarski, Tadeusz Kantor and Jerzy Grotowski. Nonetheless, this physical theatre draws from international models, such as the European traditions of Latin polyphonic music or North African Coptic music from Egypt. The international band comprises of actors from Great Britain, Poland, Iceland, Italy and Greece.
The shows will be accompanied by a conference on the legacy of Jan Kott’s Shakespeare, Our Contemporary, one of the most important 20th-century publications about Shakespeare, which has greatly influenced notable representatives of British theatre, including Peter Hall and Peter Brook. During the conference, participants will discuss the reception of Jan Kott in the post-soviet world, and the immutable power of his book. Taking part in the conference are Grzegorz Bral, John Elsom, Graham Holderness, Ian Herbert, Dariusz Kosiński, Kate McLuskie, Ken McMullen, Madalina Nicolaescu, Zorica Nicolic, Kalina Stefanova, Stephen Unwin and Jana Wild.
Battersea Arts Centre
teatr pieśń kozła
Battersea Arts Centre
The conference, which will take place on 19th February (exactly 50 years after the first edition of Kott’s work in Great Britain), is organized by the Kingston Shakespeare Seminar at the Rose Theatre in Kingston-upon-Thames in cooperation with the Polish Cultural Institute in London. The famous Songs of Lear will be staged from 19th to 22nd February at the Battersea Arts Centre, proclaimed by The Guardian as one of the most influential stages in Great Britain.
Source: press releases, Song of the Goat Theatre, oprac. AL