We’ve had so much fun with filling in this world around Shakespeare’s King Lear. When a few problems presented themselves, we’ve been able to solve them within the world, deepen the lore and create incredibly cute robots. All right, enough foreplay. Let’s get into it.
Regan is phoning it in
We wanted to have everyone to be able to dive into the character as much as possible, which meant that double roles were going to be difficult for this production. To solve it, we wrote the second daughter of King Lear, Regan, into the role of Goneril, his eldest, in such a way that she is still her own character. Goneril is always on the phone with her, discussing the latest developments and plain old gossip. It turned into something really fun, especially when the bastard son of Gloucester, Edmund, gets thrown into the mix, having his own special connection to Regan (wink wink).
Hey Lear’s Fool, could you please tell a joke
Another one of the roles that we really wanted to keep, was Lear’s Fool. A wonderful opportunity represented itself, where one of the characters that is meant to function as a mirror to the other characters, can become a mirror to humanity as well. The Fool is a robot, made from giving the last living plants a voice. Robots have often been used in literature and cinema to make a statement about humanity, a wonderful device that keeps exploring emotions versus rationality. It is so much fun to explore the look and feel of this character. Having a robotic fool that undercuts the characters emotional decisions and tells a truth that shouldn’t be ignored, adds depth to the story about madness.
Especially in these times when artificial intelligence is taking a bigger and bigger role in society, it is interesting to see how this flawed little robot observes and judges the characters around him (we all know how judge-y fools can be).