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King Lear - Jonathan Pryce stars at the Almeida

Jonathan Pryce. Photo credit: Helen Warner.

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

MICHAEL Attenborough will direct Jonathan Pryce in the title role of Shakespeare’s King Lear, which runs at the Almeida Theatre from September 11 (previews from August 31) to November 3, 2012.

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.

Tony and Olivier award-winning actor Jonathan Pryce made his Almeida debut playing Martin in Edward Albee’s The Goat or, Who is Sylvia?

His extensive theatre credits also include The Caretaker (Liverpool Everyman and Trafalgar Studios), Glengarry Glen Ross (Apollo Theatre), A Reckoning (Soho Theatre), My Fair Lady (National Theatre and Theatre Royal Drury Lane), Oliver! (London Palladium), Miss Saigon (Theatre Royal Drury Lane), Uncle Vanya and The Seagull (West End), Hamlet (Royal Court Theatre), Measure for Measure (RSC) and Comedians (Old Vic).

His screen work includes Cranford, Hysteria, Pirates of the Caribbean, Tomorrow Never Dies, What a Girl Wants, Victoria and Albert, Evita, Unconditional Love, Brazil and Carrington.

King Lear will be designed by Tom Scutt, with lighting by Jon Clark and sound and music by Dan Jones. Further casting will be announced shortly.

King Lear is part of the World Shakespeare Festival. The festival, produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company for London 2012, will showcase the best of the UK and international creative talents, exploring the contemporary relevance of Shakespeare.

Stephen Poliakoff’s My City continues at the Almeida until November 5, 2011. It will be followed – from November 10, 2011 to January 14, 2012 – by the UK premiere of Neil LaBute’s latest play Reasons To Be Pretty, starring Kieran Bew, Siân Brooke, Tom Burke and Billie Piper.