“I am a man more sinned against than sinning.”
Six-time Olivier Award-winner Ian McKellen reprises the titular role of King Lear in Jonathan Munby’s epic adaptation of the Bard’s haunting tragedy. Coming to the West End this July, Munby’s production, which opened to rave five-star reviews at Chichester Festival Theatre last year, is scheduled to run for 100 performances.
The depiction of this classic tale about an ageing ruler and his decision to divide his kingdom between his three daughters is fierce, tender and, as it is rumoured to be his last Shakespearian production, a once in a lifetime opportunity to see McKellen perform the playwright’s most emotionally demanding role.
Olivier Award, Tony Award, and Golden Globe Award recipient McKellen plays King Lear, returning to the Duke of York’s Theatre where he made his West End debut. McKellen’s extensive theatre credits include Waiting For Godot, The Seagull, Richard III, Othello and The Cherry Orchard. McKellen is perhaps most well-known for his film roles in ‘The Lord Of The Rings’ and ‘X-Men’.
Full casting for the West End production of King Lear will be announced in due course.
The elderly King Lear decides to relinquish his power and divide his realm between his three daughters, Cordelia, Regan, and Goneril. Lear plans to give the largest piece of his kingdom to the child who loves him the most. Goneril and Regan make excessive, yet shallow, declarations of affection towards their father. Lear’s favourite daughter Cordelia, however, replies simply, but truthfully, that she loves him. Enraged by her reply, Lear disowns his most loving child.
Lear’s blindness triggers a torrent of unrelenting ambition and treachery that plunges his realm into a shocking power struggle with a brutal and bitterly heart-breaking end; this is widely considered to be one of the most powerful tragedies ever written.
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(5mins) Take Charing Cross Road to St Martin’s Court, head down until the end and then take a right onto St Martin’s Lane until you reach the theatre on your right.