1623 theatre company presents

Lear/Cordelia © Pictographik

Autumn 2018 in studio theatres across England (to be confirmed)

A double-bill of Shakespeare and new writing


Lear/Cordelia is an experimental double-bill: Lear, a radical reworking of Shakespeare's King Lear followed by Cordelia, a new play from the perspective of Lear's youngest daughter. The same actors play Lear and Cordelia in both plays, which are separated by an interval.


LEAR - adaptation of King Lear by Ben Spiller

"We two alone will sing like birds in a cage"
: Lear

Lear is living with dementia. His care home feels like prison and he’s depressed. What moments from his murky past will surface as he searches through his memory box? And will his estranged daughter Cordelia ever forgive him?

Ben Spiller (1623 artistic director) fragments and reassembles Shakespeare’s King Lear to reflect a contemporary experience of dementia which features projection-mapping from Darius Powell (QUAD associate artist) and designs by Eleanor Field (RADA Shakespeare).

CORDELIA - new play by Farrah Chaudhry

"Love those who need it most"
: Cordelia

Cordelia is struggling. Her world feels like prison and she’s exhausted. Will moving her father to a care home free her? What memories will surface as they pack away his things? And will she ever find freedom?

Farrah Chaudhry (Birmingham REP Foundry) gives Cordelia a strong political voice in response to Shakespeare’s play, which marginalises her. The 2016 pilot production was directed by Louie Ingham and designed by Eleanor Field.

The national tour of Lear/Cordelia will be based on our pilot production, which played at Attenborough Arts Centre in Leicester and Derby Theatre Studio in autumn 2016.

Click here to watch the pilot production, which was live-streamed by Pilot Theatre from Attenborough Arts Centre.

Each performance will be BSL-intepreted and followed by a discussion on the issues raised by the production.

Running alongside Lear/Cordelia will be creative workshops in care homes for people living with dementia.

Click here to find out more about our pilot workshops, inspired by the 2016 pilot production. 

Lear/Cordelia is based on our research-and-development project that explored King Lear in the context of dementia through participatory research. 

Click here to find out all about our extensive exploration of King Lear and dementia.

CAST (2016 pilot production)
Victoria Brazier Regan
David Henry Lear
Samantha Hopkins Goneril
Gemma Paige North Cordelia 

CREATIVES (2016 pilot production)
: Farrah Chaudhry Cordelia playwright
: Eleanor Field set and costume 
: Louie Ingham Cordelia director
: Christopher Lydon sound and music
: Darius Powell digital artist
: Ben Spiller Lear dramaturg and director