Being Human in King Lear






Event Date: 17 November 2014
University of Birmingham
Lecture Room 4, 1st floor, Arts Building
B15 2TT

The University of Birmingham presents:

Being Human in King Lear
Perspectives from contemporary theatre and medical practice

This panel discussion will feature Dr Erin Sullivan in conversation with 1623 theatre company, who in 2013-14 have been working on a new Arts Council-funded project called Lear/dementia.

The project takes its inspiration from Shakespeare’s King Lear, which itself questions the nature of the human mind and what happens to it as a result of ageing, trauma, and loss. Lear/dementia looks at the issues King Lear raises from a contemporary perspective, focusing in particular on the understanding and experience of dementia today.

Dr Sullivan will talk with 1623 artistic director Ben Spiller and creative producer Christopher Lydon about the process that they developed for this project, which involved learning from people living with dementia at three Derbyshire care homes (as well as their professional carers and family members), a digital public participatory project called Let Me Not Be Mad, diagnosing King Lear with medical professionals and using that work to devise a new theatrical response to King Lear.

The panel will explore how the arts can help us better understand what it means to ‘be human’, as well as how they might enrich and extend that experience.

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