She She Pop & Their Fathers: Testament

Shakespeare is a family affair for German performance collective She She Pop

Presented by World Stage
A She She Pop Production
In co-production with the Hebbel am Ufer Berlin, Kampnagel Hamburg and FFT Düsseldorf

Photo by She She Pop.

Every old man is a King Lear, Goethe once observed.

The reality of old age is difficult for anyone to acceptparents, children, siblings, spouses. It's a fact of life that we all have to face at some point, so why not meet it with humour and honesty? This is exactly what German performance collective She She Pop has done with She She Pop & Their Fathers: A Testament, a cleverly staged, contemporary interpretation of Shakespeare's King Lear, now playing at the Harbourfront Centre's Enwave Theatre as part of World Stage's 2013 season.

Founded in the late 1990s, She She Pop is made up of seven members, four of whom perform in this piece (Sebastian Bark, Fanni Halmburger, Mieke Matzke and Lisa Lucassen) with their real-life fathers (Joachim Bark, Peter Hamburger and Manfred Matzke), "acting" as themselves on stage. Following the story of Lear and his daughters, the show is a public discussion or exchange between generations staged in five acts. Topics of debate include love, money, values and opinions, not to mention brilliant observations on the problems of inheritance and intergenerational co-habitation, as they apply to Lear and to modern times. Ultimately, a kind of role reversal takes place, where the daughters strip off their fathers' clothes and boots and put them on, recognizing and accepting (more or less) the terms of the generational cycle. 

Featuring a colourful set, funky costumes and multimedia props, Testament incorporates projections (the production is in German with English surtitles), video, drawings, diagrams and music in a universally enjoyable performance that is at once hysterically funny and utterly devastating. Memorable moments include a mathematical explanation for why Lear failed to dispose of his estate, and a feel-good number in which the fathers and daughters dance along to Dolly Parton's "Walking in my Father's Shoes." 

 She She Pop & Their Fathers: A Testament is a remarkable tribute to family relationships. The work explores a wide range of emotional experiences, from petty annoyances to fundamental issues such as independence, integrity, forgiveness and death. Catch it until Saturday April 20th at the Harbourfront Centre's Enwave Theatre. Visit for more information and to buy tickets.

Show Dates: 
Wed, 2013-04-17 - Sat, 2013-04-20
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