The lure of Lear in Auroville Theatre Group’s latest production
The Auroville Theatre Group has adapted quite a few Shakespearean plays in the past, the last being The Merchant of Venice, that director Jill Navarre and her crew staged two years ago. Before that, they had also adapted Hamlet, in 2008. But this time, there’s a rather grim inspiration for the play chosen by them for a performance this weekend. King Lear, the Bard’s 17th century tragedy, and its political overtones are as, she says, mirrored to a great extent in present-day world affairs. “There is such a disappointing lack of compassion and love shown by world leaders of today that it’s frightening to say the least,” says Navarre, while explaining the inspiration for choosing King Lear. She continues, “Take for example my own country, USA, and Syria and other countries. Wherever money rules, the people suffer.” With a crew of 21 cast members, the play is set in the modern times. “I have retained the original of King Lear for the play, although it is set in the present age, with the cast wearing contemporary costumes,” she says, adding that Kong will be playing the role of the titular character. Soon after, the Auroville Theatre Group will be staging another play by Estonian theatre artiste Tamur Johannes Tohver.