King Lear – The Avoidance of Love

Framed as a film, but enacted as a play, the main action in King Lear – The Avoidance of Love comprises of an audition for the roles of the three daughters of King Lear in a future theatrical production of the Shakespearean play. In focusing on the performative situations surrounding the ‘proper’ presentation of the play like the audition, the rehearsal and the post-show discussion, the film is self-reflexive of the processes of playacting that it is a product of. Also, the film is an enactment of a famous essay of the same name on King Lear by Stanley Cavell, an American philosopher, who expounds that Lear’s banishment of Cordelia was due not to his failure in recognising her love for him, but his inability to return that love and hence his denial of it.

  • Director: Fran Borgia, Ho Tzu Nyen
  • Runtime: 48m30s
  • Genre: Experimental
  • Rating: PG
  • Availability: library@esplanade
  • Accession No: 2008-D-1251
  • Subtitles: -
  • Release Year: 2008
  • Producer: Fran Borgia
  • Language: English
  • Production Country: Singapore

Cast List:

  • Paul Rae
  • Tony Yeow
  • Elizabeth Tan
  • Janice Koh
  • Tan Kheng Hua
  • Karen Lim
  • Noorlinah Mohamed
  • Neo Swee Lin
  • Amy Cheng
  • Leah Low


  • Writer - Ho Tzu Nyen
  • Director of Photography - Amandi Wong
  • Wardrobe Supervisor - Foo Ai Wei
  • Sound Mixing - Matthew Koh
  • Editors - Fran Borgia, Ho Tzu Nyen
  • Associate Producer - Joey Lam


  • Themes - Denial, Avoidance, Love, Performance, Playacting, Seeing, Interpretation, Reality
  • Subject Matter - William Shakespeare, King Lear, Cordelia, Brechtian, Verfremdungseffekt, V-effekt, A-effect, Self-Reflexivity, Ur-text, Tragedy, Suspension of Disbelief
  • Relationships - Audience/Actor, Director/Actor, Producer/Actor, Father/Daughter
  • People - Stanley Cavell, Celebrity
  • Activities - Audition, Rehearsal, Post-show Discussion

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