Last night at Teatro Carcano, Milan the World Premiere of QUEEN LEA-R,
‘en travesti’ musical play freely adapted from by Shakespeare ‘s King Lear
Open scenario, a doll store with a vintage feeling , on stage the Nina’s Drag Queens Company, in a quite intense musical play conceived by Francesco Micheli, renewed and re-written by the British playwright Claire Dowie and the Italian composer Enrico Melozzi.
The plot is about 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. 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.
I loved (and the public too) the crazy and unxpected inserts of contemporary hits from the Italian Franco Battiato’s The Cure to the classic I will survive just to mention few. All songs ‘live’ revealing some pretty good voices. This format is not so new… the iconic Quartetto Cetra, back in the 60’s or the ilarious Trio used that gig in the past. The drag queens’ performances as contemporary opera: a theater with a great visual impact and accurate musical drama dealing with capital issues sometime sacrificing the enjoyment of the show.
Dowie’s libretto has accustomed the audience ( literally populated by Nina’ friends drug queens,) 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. 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.
Queen LeaR will reign on stage till Jan 20
Here INFO AND TICKETS