KING LEAR broadcast to cinemas worldwide as part of National Theatre Live on 1 May 2014
Sam Mendes’ acclaimed National Theatre production of Shakespeare’s KING LEAR with Simon Russell Beale in the title role, will be broadcast to cinemas and performing arts venues around the world from the National’s Olivier Theatre on 1 May at 7pm (international dates may vary).
An aged king decides to divide his kingdom between his three daughters, according to which of them is most eloquent in praising him. His favourite, Cordelia, says nothing.
Simon Russell Beale’s recent theatre work for the National includes Timon of Athens (Critics’ Circle Award: Best Shakespearean Performance), Collaborators (Evening Standard Award: Best Actor), London Assurance, Major Barbara, Much Ado About Nothing, The Alchemist and The Life of Galileo; elsewhere, The Hothouse and Privates on Parade (West End), The Winter’s Tale and The Cherry Orchard (New York and Old Vic); and Bluebird (New York).
His films include My Week with Marilyn and The Deep Blue Sea; television includes Spooks, Falstaff in the BBC film of Henry IV, and presenting the series Sacred Music and Symphony.
Sam Mendes has previously directed The Sea, The Birthday Party, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice and Othello for the NT. For ten years he was Director of the Donmar Warehouse, where his productions included Uncle Vanya and Twelfth Night; in 2009 he founded the Bridge Project, a transatlantic classical theatre company, and directed The Winter’s Tale, The Cherry Orchard, The Tempest, As You Like It and Richard III.
His films include American Beauty (Academy Award for Best Director and Best Picture) and the BAFTA and Academy Award-winning Skyfall.
The cast also includes Stephen Boxer (as Gloucester), Cassie Bradley, Tom Brooke (Edgar), Richard Clothier, Jonathan Dryden Taylor, Kate Fleetwood (Goneril), Simon Manyonda, Anna Maxwell Martin (Regan), Daniel Millar, Michael Nardone, Gary Powell, Adrian Scarborough (Fool), Hannah Stokely, Stanley Townsend (Kent), Sam Troughton (Edmund), Olivia Vinall (Cordelia) and Ross Waiton.
‘Witty, agile, lucid and deeply felt. A gripping production of a tragedy which is also an intensely painful psychological thriller’ Daily Telegraph
There will be special afternoon screenings of King Lear on 16 May.
Future broadcasts from NATIONAL THEATRE LIVE:
THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME – Encore screenings from 22 May
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is based on Mark Haddon’s award-winning novel, adapted by Simon Stephens and directed by Marianne Elliott. The production was filmed during the play’s original run in the Cottesloe Theatre, and will be shown in UK and international cinemas on 22 May with further screenings in following weeks.
A SMALL FAMILY BUSINESS – 12 June
Alan Ayckbourn’s A Small Family Business, a riotous exposure of entrepreneurial greed, returns to the National where it premiered in 1987. Directed by Adam Penford, the cast is led by Nigel Lindsay as Jack McCracken.
MEDEA – 4 September
Carrie Cracknell directs Euripides’ powerful tragedy MEDEA, in a new version by Ben Power, opening in the Olivier Theatre on 21 July as part of the Travelex £15 Tickets season. Helen McCrory returns to the National to take the title role.