Queen Lear

March - May 2019

Theater group Facet adapted the original King Lear by the unsurpassed William Shakespeare into a performance for six actresses: Queen Lear (director: Jos Salden, adaptation: Theo Keltjens).

In our politically turbulent time, in which fake news pushes the truth aside, the actresses play the game around the distribution of Lears kingdom among her three daughters with dedication and a royal wink! And here too the lie beckons. But does the truth win? And is the audience just a spectator? Can people live without a monarch, without a government? No you will say (or yes! ...) In both cases you are not just a spectator ...

The complete design was developed, designed and realized by Jonathan Wanders in collaboration with director Jos Salden. A minimalist and business style was chosen with only a few objects and basic colors. A reduced decor, with a golden throne as the central object. The throne as a character. The golden throne represents power and the royal family. The throne is emphatically present, towers above everyone and is made of solid gold. But the throne also ridicules power and the royal family, because it is also an enlarged version of a children’s highchair. Queen Lear literally couldn't put her feet down, leading to dangling legs. And to actually take a seat on the seating area, the characters first had to climb six steps. The throne could be used in many ways, thus supporting the actresses' play. One could sit on the chair and steps, stand, lean against it, hide behind it and use the back for storage. But the throne could also be used as a boundary / barrier to reinforce differences between characters and to divide the space.

A golden block, emerged from the throne, served as a "Speakers" Corner. A place for monologues and interventions where the characters were interviewed and expressed their opinion. To bring it all into the contemporary era, the clothing and styling were chosen for a more timeless, business style: white tailored suits, basic colors (each character a different color tie and footwear) and just a few attributes (a gold cardboard crown for Queen Lear). The royal family as a modern family business, in which the daughters compete for power and succession within the company, while the (mental) health of mother Queen Lear leaves much to be desired.


Title: Queen Lear
Locations: Karroessel Geleen, Garage Venlo, Pesthuys Podium Maastricht (NL)
Process: December 2018 to March 2019
Temporary experience: March to May 2019
Material: Wood, plywood, primer white, gold paint (Decor Gold outdoor - rich gold)
Dimensions: Throne 80x200x240 cm (wxlxh), block 80x80x36 cm (wxlxh)
Client: Theater group Facet (Speelgroep Facet)
With special thanks to: Theater group Facet, Jos Salden, students of VMBO Maastricht (exam class Building, Living and Interior) and teacher Roger Pricken
© Jonathan Wanders