Songs of Lear is a non-linear story that shows the world of subtle energies and rhythms that govern Shakespeare’s tragedy. The ensemble members have chosen crucial scenes from King Lear to weave a story out of gestures, words and music. Each song is a starting point for another ‘dramatic poem’. Here the music becomes character, relationships and events.

Songs of Lear had its international premiere during Fringe Festival in Edinburgh in August 2012, where it received three prestigious awards: Scotsman Fringe First, Herald Archangel and Musical Theatre Matters Special Award. Songs of Lear was also enlisted on the very top of The List as the highest ranked performance during the 2012 festival.

  • Song of the Goat Theatre
  • Director — Grzegorz Bral
  • Music — Jean-Claude Acquaviva, Maciej Rychły
  • Preparation of songs — Kacper Kuszewski
  • Performers — Anu Almagro, Julianna Bloodgood, Monika Dryl, Gabriel Gawin, Rafał Habel, Jenny Kaatz, Kacper Kuszewski, Henry McGrath, Maciej Rychły, Łukasz Wójcik
  • Premiere — 28 September 2012

Supported by Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, as part of the Culture Inrastructure Development Programme

  • Such torrid feelings of despair, pain, hope and faith in the redemptive power of love are unheard of in the theatre. But this is not theatre. It is a live, choreic mystery ritual. This magnum opus of the Song of the Goat has a potently therapeutic effect. So much so that my ironists friends cried openly when watching the performance. The singing is sublimely beautiful, with a brilliant voice setting, and extremely poignant.

    Jacek Dobrowolski | Teatr

  • The director, Grzegorz Bral, conducts his company like a classical orchestra. They outperform; reinventing conventional forms of character and plot, and theatre altogether. Though fresh, it is fearlessly archaic in its grandeur. The performance is ceremonial, consecrated and sanctified, rich in the essence of the play. My five stars were laid bare on outstretched palms, offered in reverence.

    Kelly Punton | Fringe Biscuit

  • This is essence of Lear, desiccated and condensed; sensed rather than watched and absorbed until it hasn’t just got under your skin, but right into your bone marrow. For the half hour that followed, I was static electricity, too knock-kneed to stand. It is a full-body detox; catharsis pure and simple and transcendent. In a Fringe chock-full of profanity, Songs of Lear is something sacred.

    Matt Trueman | The List

  • The structure of the piece is used to free the audience to absorb rather than scrutinise without losing any of the transcendental ferocity, power or vulnerability in the source material.

    The Scottish Poetry Library


Date and hour

12 November


Running time

70 minutes