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Almeida's King Lear - full casting announced

King Lear. Photo credit: Helen Warner.

Casting update

FULL casting has been announced for Michael Attenborough’s production of King Lear, which runs at the Almeida Theatre from September 11 (previews from August 31) to November 3, 2012.

Joining Jonathan Pryce (as Lear) will be Kieran Bew (Edmund), Michael Byrne (Fool), Steven Elliott (Oswald), Phoebe Fox (Cordelia), Ian Gelder (Kent), Richard Goulding (Edgar), Richard Hope (Albany), Jenny Jules (Regan), Barry McCarthy (Lear’s Loyal Servant), Chook Sibtain (Cornwall), Zoe Waites (Goneril), Clive Wood (Gloucester) and Alix Wilton Regan (Gloucester’s Loyal Servant).

When Lear asks each of his daughters to profess their love for him, he is flattered by the false hyperbole of Regan and Goneril. When his youngest daughter Cordelia confesses to love him simply as a daughter should, his pride is dented and he casts her out of his kingdom.

Too late to realise his mistake, and forced from power by his offspring, an increasingly impotent and frail Lear descends into madness.

Kieran Bew returns to the Almeida having previously appeared in Michael Attenborough’s productions of Reasons To Be Pretty and The Knot of the Heart. His other theatre credits include After Miss Julie (Young Vic), The House of Special Purpose (Chichester Festival Theatre) and Richard II (Old Vic). On screen, he has appeared in Inspector George Gently, Waking The Dead, Silent Witness, Personal Affairs, The Street, Whistleblower and Spooks (TV); 1234 and Green Street (film).

Michael Byrne’s extensive theatre credits include The Chairs (Gate Theatre), Burial at Thebes (Nottingham Playhouse), Death and the Maiden and New World Order (Royal Court Theatre), Entertaining Strangers (National Theatre) and most recently, Molly Sweeney also for the Gate Theatre. His screen work includes Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Braveheart and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (film); Ted Paige in Coronation Street, Waking the Dead and Silent Witness (TV).

Benjamin Dilloway’s theatre credits include Step 9 of 12 and Mercury Fur (Trafalgar Studio 2), Excellent Choice (The Vault Festival at The Old Vic Tunnels), Chicken (Southwark Playhouse), But otherwise went well… (Waterloo East Theatre) and The 24 Hour Plays: Old Vic New Voices (Old Vic). His film credits include Archers, Hold On Me and Jess//Jim.

Steven Elliott has previously worked with Michael Attenborough on the world premiere of Pentecost at the RSC. His extensive theatre credits also include Frankenstein and Winter’s Tale (National Theatre) and Dancing at Lughnasa (Abbey Theatre, Dublin). On scren, he has appeared in Judge John Deed, Tess of the D’Urbevilles and Crash (TV); Hamlet, Time Bandits and Cold Earth (film).

Phoebe Fox graduated from RADA in 2010 and was nominated for the 2011 Evening Standard Outstanding Newcomer award for her performance as Celia in As You Like It at the Rose Theatre. Her other theatre credits include There is a War (National Theatre), The Acid Test (Royal Court Theatre) and Sixty-Six Books (Bush Theatre). Her television work includes Black Mirror, New Tricks and Coming Up.

Ian Gelder’s extensive theatre credits include Henry IV (Parts 1 and II), His Dark Materials and Stuff Happens (National Theatre) and The Crucible, Titus Andronicus and Richard III (Royal Shakespeare Company). His screen work includes Game of Thrones, Absolutely Fabulous, Psychoville and Silent Witness (TV); Pope Joan, Little Dorritt and The Fool (film).

Richard Goulding can currently be seen in Posh at the Duke of York’s Theatre, in a role he originated at the Royal Court in 2010. His other theatre credits include Trevor Nunn’s Royal Shakespeare Company productions of King Lear and The Seagull; There is a War and Edgar and Annabel (National Theatre); The Soldier and the Maker (Barbican) and Good (Royal Exchange Theatre). His screen work includes Foyles War and M.I High (TV); The Iron Lady (film).

Richard Hope has previously appeared at the Almeida in Michael Attenborough’s production of When the Rain Stops Falling. His other extensive theatre credits include The Swan, A Prayer for Owen Meaney, War and Peace, Hamlet, Pravda, The Government Inspector and Much Ado About Nothing (National Theatre); Democracy (Sheffield Crucible) and Dirty Dancing (Aldwych Theatre). His screen credits include Doctor Who, Holby City, EastEnders, Peak Practice and Brideshead Revisited (TV); the forthcoming Mr Morgan’s Last Love (film).

Jenny Jules’ previous work at the Almeida includes Michael Attenborough’s productions of The Homecoming and Big White Fog and Indhu Rubasingham’s production of Ruined for which she won the Critics’ Circle Best Actress Award for her performance as Mama Nadi. She has also worked extensively for the Tricycle Theatre – in Fabulation, Gem of the Ocean, Walk Hard, The Colour of Justice and The Great White Hope. She has most recently been seen at the National Theatre in Moon on A Rainbow Shawl.

Her screen work includes A Short Stay in Switzerland, Octane, Up ‘N’ Under and Spiders and Flies (film); Vexed, Judge John Deed, Golden Hour and A Respectable Trade (TV).

Barry McCarthy’s theatre credits include A Round- Heeled Woman (Riverside Studios and Aldwych Theatre), Realism (Soho Theatre), The White Guard (National Theatre), The Canterbury Tales and As You Like It (Royal Shakespeare Company) and House and Garden, Body Language and Things We Do for Love, all directed by Alan Ayckbourn (Stephen Jones Theatre, Scarborough). He has previously been at the Almeida in Last Seen, part of the 2009 Summer Festival.

On screen, he has appeared in Doctors, Holby City, Missing, Judge John Deed, Peak Practice and The Final Cut (TV); Notes on a Scandal, Kinky Boots and The Food of Love (film). He has worked extensively with Michael Attenborough.

Chook Sibtain, who played Mercutio in Michael Attenborough’s Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Romeo and Juliet, has also appeared on stage in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare’s Globe), The King and I (Leicester Curve), An Enemy of the People (Sheffield Crucible) and A Streetcar Named Desire (Nuffield Southampton). His screen credits include the recent short film Ghost Recon: Alpha, Naachle London and We Make Music (film); Hustle, Dr Who and Casualty (TV).

Zoe Waites was previously at the Almeida in Thea Sharrock’s production of Mrs Klein and Howard Davies’ production of The Play About The Baby. She has previously been directed by Michael Attenborough at the Royal Shakespeare Company in The Prisoner’s Dilemma, Othello and Romeo and Juliet. Her other theatre credits include Hobson’s Choice (Crucible Theatre), Birdsong (Comedy Theatre) and Hedda Gabler (Theatre Royal Bath). Her television work includes The Other Boleyn Girl, Love In a Cold Climate and Unknown Soldier.

Clive Wood was most recently seen at the Almeida in Michael Attenborough’s production of Filumena, following roles in both The Tempest and Flare Path as part of Trevor Nunn’s season at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. His previous theatre credits include Richard II, Richard III, Nicholas Nickleby and the title role in Henry IV (Parts 1 and 2), all for the Royal Shakespeare Company. Michael Attenborough also directed Wood in the RSC productions of Antony and Cleopatra and Les Liaisons Dangereuses.

His screen credits include What To Do When Someone Dies, Waking The Dead and Land Girls (TV); Dirty Bomb, The Crucifer of Blood and Treasure Island (film).

Alix Wilton Regan’s theatre credits include In Parallel (Arcola Theatre), Numbers (King’s Head Theatre) and To Kill a Mockingbird (Tricycle Theatre). On screen, she has appeared in Real Playing Game, World of the Dead, Life Just is and The Symmetry of Love (film); Come Fly With Me and Hustle (TV).

Read more about King Lear.

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The 2012 Almeida Festival runs from July 2 to July 28, 2012.