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Chichester Festival Theatre’s production of King Lear starring Ian McKellen transfers to West End

Ian Mckellen in King Lear. Photo by Manuel Harlan.

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

CHICHESTER Festival Theatre’s critically-acclaimed production of Shakespeare’s King Lear is transferring to the Duke of York’s Theatre, where it runs from July 11 to November 3, 2018 (100 performances only).

Directed by Jonathan Munby, this intimate and contemporary production ran for a sold-out season at Chichester Festival Theatre’s Minerva Theatre in autumn 2017.

The ensemble of actors will include Ian McKellen as King Lear, returning to the Duke of York’s Theatre where he made his West End debut in the 1964 production of A Scent of Flowers. McKellen has enjoyed an illustrious career on stage and screen, not least inhabiting some of Shakespeare’s most iconic roles including Hamlet, Macbeth, Iago, Richard II and Richard III. He has also appeared in previous productions of King Lear as Edgar, Kent and in the title role.

Full casting for the West End transfer of King Lear will be announced in due course.

Two ageing fathers – one a King, one his courtier – reject the children who truly love them. Their blindness unleashes a tornado of pitiless ambition and treachery as family and state are plunged into a violent power struggle with shocking ends.

Tender, brutal, moving and epic, King Lear is considered by many to be the greatest tragedy ever written.

Jonathan Munby’s credits include his new production of Bryony Lavery’s Frozen in the West End; First Light for Chichester Festival Theatre; All the Angels, The Merchant of Venice and Antony and Cleopatra for Shakespeare’s Globe; and Wendy & Peter Pan for the RSC.

Presented by ATG Productions, Chichester Festival Theatre, Gavin Kalin Productions and Glass Half Full Productions, King Lear is designed by Paul Wills, with lighting by Oliver Fenwick, music and sound by Ben Ringham and Max Ringham, movement by Lucy Cullingford and fight direction by Kate Waters.

£5 tickets will be available as part of Chichester Festival Theatre’s Prologue scheme for 16-25 year olds. Tickets can be purchased on the day of performance in person from the Duke of York’s Box Office, when proof of age ID will be required.

Check out Ian McKellen as King Lear in the Chichester Festival Theatre production

Image: Ian Mckellen in King Lear. Photo by Manuel Harlan.

Times: Tuesday to Saturday at 7pm; Saturday matinee at 1.30pm.

Running time: 3 hours and 20 minutes including one interval.

Also at the Duke of York’s Theatre: Robert Icke’s acclaimed Almeida production of Mary Stuart, starring Juliet Stevenson and Lia Williams (until March 31) and David Hare’s critically acclaimed play The Moderate Soprano (April 5 to June 30, 2018).