Queen LeaR is King Lear by Shakespeare turned into a musical play en travesti.
Performed by Nina’s Drag Queens and conceived by Francesco Micheli, Queen LeaR has been renewed and re-written by the British playwright Claire Dowie and the Italian composer Enrico Melozzi.
Queen LeaR is the new production by Nina’s Drag Queens. The show, written and performed in English, will debut in season 2018/2019.
A CONTEMPORARY STORY
Lea Rossi moved from Italy to Uk in the 70’s and opened a little doll shop, whose sign reads: Lea R. The elderly lady is now facing the end of her business and of her life. Struggling with her physical decay, she is unable to give way to new generations, and to separate herself from her things, in spite of the efforts of her three daughters and of the loyal friend Mrs. Kent.
The Shakespearean themes are now associated to a contemporary, stark atmosphere, where castles become studio apartments, the moors are hospices, and the madness is senile dementia. In this harsh world the old “queen” has no place to go but a hospice and here her epic visions – knights, wars, and medieval kingdoms – come to life.
Queen LeaR deals with some uncomfortable themes of our time, such as old age, illness and death, on the background of a generation with a hard legacy on his back, a generation of children who may never be fathers.
AN INNOVATIVE LANGUAGE
Queen LeaR is made unique by the main feature of the company: the use of a fascinating and immediate character, the drag queen, a contemporary fool.
Drag queens act, sing, dance, make people laugh and cry, live and stir strong emotions: for this reason a drag queen is the perfect key to translate Shakespeare in a present-day form, innovating it through a contemporary, eclectic and excessive mask.
Queen LeaR is also built on the idea of mixing together different kinds of show. The ambition is to put on stage a form of entertainment at the same time popular and high, which takes its strength from the use of pastiche and the break of genres boundaries.
THE ARTISTIC TEAM
Francesco Micheli (concept) conceives the drag queens’ performances as contemporary opera: a theater with a great visual impact and accurate musical dramaturgy, dealing with capital issues without sacrificing the enjoyment of the show.
He is artistic director of Donizetti Foundation and director of more than 30 opera shows, performed in Italy and abroad.
Enrico Melozzi (original music) merges different styles, creating a mèlange in which pop music is happily combined with contemporary classical music. His activity of composer coexists with a career as cellist, conductor and music producer.
Claire Dowie (text) has accustomed both British and international public to her ironic and daring plays, where a social urgency coexists with an amazing lightness. Irreverent, poetic, brilliant, Claire Dowie is a rare and original voice on the European scene and her plays have been translated into many languages and seen around the world.
Nina’s Drag Queens (acting and directing) Alessio Calciolari, Gianluca Di Lauro, Sax Nicosia, Lorenzo Piccolo, Ulisse Romanò studied in the main Italian Theatre Academy and performed in many productions in Italy and abroad, ranging from theater to opera, dance and cinema.
THE PRODUCTIVE PARTNERS
Aparte – Ali per l’arte is the productive leader. Born in 2008,it is a company of theater production and distribution which also provides services in the field of artistic education and communication. From the 2015 it is supported by Cariplo Foundation as part of fUnder35 program. Nina’s Drag Queens is the main project of Aparte.
Teatro Metastasio (Prato – Italy) will be the main co-producer of the project and will host the debut of the Italian version of the show. Metastasio is funded by The Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism and offers a varied theater season, giving special attention to audience’s education. The artistic director is currently Franco D’Ippolito.
The Record Label Sonzogno, founded in 1874 and responsible for the Italian distribution of many composers and authors (including Chailly, Negri, Corghi, Battiato, Tutino, Sollima, Boccadoro, Langston Hughes, Emanuele Luzzati, Bob Wilson, Peter Greenaway, Patti Smith, Jean-Claude Carrière, Carolyn Carlson, John Turturro) will cover the cost of music production.
The Kone Foundation, an historical Finnish organization created for the support of academic research and culture, gave the company a period at the Saari Residence, in Hietmäki (Fi), a prestigious setting that brings together international artists of different disciplines.
Kilowatt Festival, an institution which is very careful to discover what is new on contemporary scene, offeredr another period of artistic residency at the Teatro della Misericordia of San Sepolcro, Arezzo.