King Lear with a difference

00:03, Sep 26 2013
David Ladderman
Performer David Ladderman gets in character for his one-man show "The Battle of the B**tards", coming to Invercargill for Shakespeare in the Park.

Southlanders will get a fresh perspective on King Lear when The Battle of the B**tards plays out in Invercargill next year.

Venture Southland creative projects manager Angela Newell said the one-man show, performed by David Ladderman and confirmed as the headline act for Shakespeare in the Park, focused on the "baddies" of King Lear.

As well as juggling, sword-fighting and old-time cussing, the show involved a lot of audience participation, she said.

Ladderman, who has won international acclaim for The Battle of the B**tards, has just returned from performing the show at the Toronto Fringe festival.

Ms Newell said his unusual performance was a chance for Shakespeare in the Park organisers to provide something a little different for festival-goers.

The Battle of the B**tards was a very deconstructed version of the bard's famous tragedy, she said.


"There's no way you'd get through the whole of Lear in one hour, but he manages to."

Southland performers and crew would still have an opportunity to participate in the event, with the promenade through the park scenes yet to be designed.

A meeting for anyone interested in volunteering or suggesting ideas was scheduled for Tuesday October 1 at Venture Southland, beginning at 5.15pm, Ms Newell said.

"It's a chance for people to come and contribute to the show as well, which we don't normally do."

Shakespeare in the Park runs from February 7 - 11 at Queens Park. For a taste of Ladderman's performance, head to for a video.

The Southland Times