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King Lear

2008, Italy
Directed by: Daniele Salvo
Produced by: Politeama / Globe Theater

Genre: Drama
Languages: It

with Ugo Pagliai
videoscenographies by Giandomenico Musu (INDYCA)


Written at the beginning of the seventeenth century, the historical work narrates the sad events of an ancient British monarch led to madness by the distorted behavior of the daughters to whom he had entrusted his kingdom. Looking to the past, the English playwright portrayed his present in a profound crisis. But he also anticipated the future. Because the theme at the center of King Lear seems very current: the misunderstanding and misunderstanding between fathers and children - on the private level - the difficulty and even the paralysis of generational change - on the public one. The latter is a far from negligible indicator of moments of stasis, of moral degeneration, of political paralysis of a society.

The main characters of the play are all fathers and sons. First of all, the protagonist, the authoritarian and age-weary king, guilty of having “grown old before becoming wise”, has the penetrating gaze, expressiveness and thundering voice of Ugo Pagliai, an actor of consummate experience. His Lear crosses the character's excesses with balance: he is an elderly parent, he is a weakened ruler, he is delusional against natural agents, supine with his face turned to an inclement sky in the well-known scene of the desolate land and beaten by the hurricane (the actor is made clearly visible by an inclined plane towards the public). But the king himself also knows how to keep a subtle vein of lightness when he jokes with his alter ego, the inseparable fool (the good Francesco Colella). He jokingly always says the true and well defines his master by stating: "you would have been a very good madman" (a theme dear to Shakespeare that of the boundary between reason and madness).

In the shadow of the protagonist there are the children. Some positive by virtue of their fidelity and loyalty to their fathers (Cordelia, daughter of Lear, Federica Bern; Edgar, son of Gloucester, Gianluigi Fogacci) but fundamentally powerless in the face of evil. Others are negative, like Lear's ungrateful daughters, Goneril (the convincing Melania Giglio) and Reagan, unprepared to manage a power always coveted and obtained through flattery, but divided by greed and selfishness, unable to replace the parent with dignity, deprived of filial piety. To them Lear says "I gave you everything" and they say "And it was time you gave it to us." Another disrespectful son, determined but dishonest in his desire for redemption and freedom from his social destiny, is the bold Edmond, Gloucester's illegitimate son, animated by the verve of Giacinto Palmerini.

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