Burguer King Lear – tumultuous play and an opportunity for reflection

As part of the commemoration of Shakespeare’s death 400 years ago this year, a film version of the play King Lear was shown on Wednesday 22 November in the library in Tavira. Produced in 2006 by Director João Garcia Miguel, this interpretation conveys an inner and outer turmoil that arguably reflects current global themes. While validation of love is the theme of Shakespeare’s King Lear, the decision to ostracise which leads to a traumatic outcome is more than one man’s journey. It is an exploration of fear and insecurity.

In this portrayal two actors perform as mirror images of each other in clown costumes, reflecting shadow and light. One actor performs 14 different roles. The staging and set are unique in colour and props. A purest may suggest desecration of a great work, but on the contrary, the performance is exhilarating as João Garcia Miguel’s respect for the essence and depth of meaning is apparent in the dramatic techniques used. From the paintings to the music, and to the words performed in Portuguese and English (with subtitles) there is richness in every moment.

After the film, there was an opportunity to listen to and then question João Garcia Miguel. He said, “I am the kind of guy who perverts the text with deep respect.” He called the play “a modern tale,” that begins with a huge puzzle of why a King who has everything would want to let it all go. He suggests that Shakespeare was creating a new vision for the world, where it is possible to face yourself and your demons.

The film and especially the opportunity to listen to João Garcia Miguel was at times quite breath taking. After Tavira the film will be shown in São Brás de Alportel and Alcoutim in December. The Director will again be present to answer questions and to share his process and creative thinking.

6 Dec 15:00 Casa dos Condes de Alcoutim

7 Dec 16:30 Museu do traje, São Brás de Alportel

Partilha Alternativa (the Alternative Sharing Association) is the organiser of these events and they are sponsored by program 365 Algarve.

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