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John Scott's Lear is a deeply personal and riveting interpretation of Shakespeare's masterpiece. King Lear is portrayed by New York dance legend Valda Setterfield, 83, who has worked with Mikhail Baryshnikov, Woody Allen, David Gordon Pick Up Company and as a soloist for Merce Cunningham. Setterfield gives a profoundly moving performance that explores the unraveling of a universe, parental love, fear of death, personal transformation and enlightenment. Toppling the hierarchy, Goneril, Regan and Cordelia are portrayed by three virtuosic male dancers.

Lear was originally commissioned by Kilkenny Arts Festival 2014 and subsequently performed to full houses at New York Live Arts and Dublin in 2016, at Dance Base for Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017 - where it won a coveted Herald Angel award for Setterfield's outstanding performance - and in 2018 at Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre , London, as part of (B)old Festival.

Choreography: John Scott in collaboration with Valda Setterfield 

Introductory Music: James Everest

Sound Design: Tom Lane 

Lighting and Set Design: Eric Wurtz

Costumes: Gabriel Berry

Dancers: Valda Setterfield, Mufutau Yusuf, Ryan O'Neill, Kevin Coquelard


"Shakespeare wisely shaken up" - Deborah Jowitt, Arts Journal

 "A streamlined version of Shakespeare’s play... it shakes us up, lets us see the play anew" - Joan Acocella, The New Yorker

"It is brave to reimagine Shakespeare, in particular arguably his greatest tragedy but Lear by John Scott Dance is a deeply moving, subtle and superbly performed interpretation of Shakespeare’s play" - Stephanie Green, Broadway Baby 

"Lear by John Scott Dance is harrowingly cogent, made all the more compelling by Setterfield’s defining presence" - Mary Brennan, The Sunday Herald

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