Cordelia, Mein Kind [Tashmadada] – Poland Festiwal Szekspirowski

Cordelia, Mein Kind 2 524x349

WHEN: 1st – 2nd August 2013

Two Windows Theatre
[Teatr w Oknie (TwO)]
ul. Długa 50/51,
Gdańsk, Poland

Click the f_english for the English Translation.


Cordelia, Mein Kind has been invited to the prestigious Festiwal Szekspirowski in Gdansk, Poland. The festival programs innovative productions of Shakespeare from around the world – past festivals have included works by Peter Brook and the Wooster Group. Cordelia, Mein Kind will be part of the “Shakespeare Off” program which focuses on performance works using alternative and experimental approaches both to theatre making and in their use of Shakespeare as inspiration

A duet for live body and film that maps a modern Cordelia and her “Lear-like father” onto the bones of Shakespeare’s Lear and his silent daughter.

…deeply textured, multilayered and savagely poetical work” (Real Time Magazine)

Here is theatre – visceral, elemental, brutal – that will heave your heart into your mouth.  Rob Conkie (Shakespeare Project)

… a multi-stranded narrative that literally pulsates, like an exploded heart, with deep feeling and mystery Ari Roth (Theater J, Washington DC)

Deborah Leiser-Moore resurrects the tragic gray eminence to moving effect. (San Francisco Chronicle)


Cordelia, Mein Kind is a duet for film and live body; a personal exploration of a present-day Cordelia-like character revealed through language, physicality, image and film. Inspired by Shakespeare’s King Lear, the piece combines original interviews (between a contemporary Cordelia and her father, a Yiddish-speaking Holocaust survivor now in his dotage and living in ‘exile’ in the Melbourne suburb of Bentleigh), and other visual imagery, with a language that is gestural, poetic, direct and physical. The multiplicity of performance languages weave seamlessly together, creating a challenging and unique performance work.

Cordelia, Mein Kind takes Cordelia’s silence as its starting point. It probes beneath the surface, exploding the silence to divulge a psychological inheritance and an emotional core linked to her father’s trauma – his history passed on to her – a history of exile and loss.

In this performance work the audience meet Cordelia as they enter – inhabiting the space in a silent ‘stand off’ with her father. She releases an explosive ‘howl’, and is (like Shakespeare’s Cordelia) about to be ‘hanged’. As she slowly descends to the ground, she enters into a netherworld between living and dying. A soundscape fills the space – one that intertwines a classic reading of Lear with her own father’s English/Yiddish cry of ‘howl howl…’ the past inhabiting the body and colliding with the present Cordelia.

Cordelia, Mein Kind is a work that doesn’t fit into a box of ‘theatre’ or ‘dance’ or ‘film’. Rather it is a piece that weaves these languages together. The piece is bold and audacious… it refuses to be pigeon holed. At the same time it remains intensely personal. Cordelia, Mein Kind weaves language (a mix of direct address to audience with more poetic and ‘performative’ style) and film with real-time performance, intertwining the three parallel journeys of the piece.

Developed through Victoria University Solo residency program; Theatre J Incubator Program Dec 2008 (Washington DC);Besen Foundation; Thanks to La Trobe University and Tashmadada.

Concept/co-creator/film and performer: Deborah Leiser-Moore
Co-creator/Director: Meredith Rogers
Choreographer: Sally Smith

Copyright © 2013
Australian Circus & Physical Theatre Association