The madness of
King Lear is not a welcome addition to the organized and
authoritarian city-state of Singapore, especially when it
involves public disrobing, reports the U.K. newspaper
Royal Shakespeare Company is bringing its critically
acclaimed adaptation of King Lear to the island nation next
month. At the request of the host, award-winning gay
actor Sir Ian McKellen will not reveal himself to the
At the play's
climax, McKellen's King Lear, becoming increasingly insane,
addressed his clothes, demanding, "Off, off you lendings!
Come unbutton here."
Reparatory Theatre asked McKellen not to take the lines
literally, expressing concern that nudity will warrant an
age restriction on the audience. Gaurav Kripalani, the
artistic director, explained to the Telegraph
that over 1,000 students have booked for the event.
government is known for its harsh restrictions on public
behavior, including fines or jail time for public urination,
littering, and gum chewing. Controversy was caused in
the 1990s when an American teen was subjected to
lashes for vandalism. (The Advocate)