1 Actor and 9 Sheep Cast in London Twist On King Lear | Playbill

News 1 Actor and 9 Sheep Cast in London Twist On King Lear London's Courtyard Theatre will stage Shakespeare's celebrated play of family betrayal and greed, King Lear, with a cast made up of live sheep. Helmed by director Missouri Williams, the production opens Aug. 12.

As reported in the U.K.'s Standard News, the production is set to feature nine live sheep wearing specially designed costumes and performing in a farmyard-set adaptation of the classic work.

Cordelia-sheep in <i>King Lear with Sheep</i>
Cordelia-sheep in King Lear with Sheep Photo by Nick Morris

The play, which is also written by Williams, follows a stubborn director who is attempting to put on a production of King Lear with a cast composed solely of sheep, with expected ensuing chaos. "King Lear with Sheep is an experimental re-evaluation of its famous predecessor that overturns theatrical conventions through the startling and revolutionary device of costumed sheep," states the Courtyard.

Williams staged the show in 2014 on a Sussex farm in the South of England. "They were so cute and fun and easy to work with, unlike people," she told the New York Times about her experience of working with the animals.

Williams told the Times that using the sheep is a way to highlight some of the richer themes in the Shakespearian tale, in which Lear's daughter Cordelia refuses to act and deceive her father. "I wanted to use the idea of non-cooperative actors to explore the themes of King Lear itself," she said.

Alasdair Saksena in <i>King Lear with Sheep</i>
Alasdair Saksena in King Lear with Sheep Photo by Nick Morris

Performances run through Aug. 16. For more information visit CourtyardTheatre.

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