Eight Songs for a Mad King is an extravagant, disturbing and poignant portrayal of madness. The king is George III of England - or maybe another madman who believes himself to be that monarch - singing weirdly as he bemoans his fate and tries to teach his instrumentalist-birds to sing. The work draws on actual quotations of the King and on the records of those at court, including stories of the King singing extracts of The Messiah, speaking gibberish very quickly and teaching his pet birds to sing. It's an exploration of the King's mental state and an exploration of the affliction of madness.
Eight Songs is performed alongside Vasco Mendon?a's compelling new setting of Samuel Beckett's monologue Ping. Combining live performance with digital sound and video scenography, this is a work at the cutting edge of contemporary European music theatre. Sung in English