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Lear - Union Theatre

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

URSULA Mohan will play the title role in Lear, which runs at the Union Theatre from June 4 to June 28, 2014.

Phil Willmott’s vibrant new production of Shakespeare’s masterpiece, King Lear, puts a mother at the heart of the action – supposing that it is a queen who, weary of public office, divides the kingdom amongst her daughters.

But the old woman finds it impossible to retire gracefully and as her mental faculties begin to fail she’s cast out by her eldest children, as their sister prepares to lead a French invasion in retaliation.

Meanwhile, the Duke of Gloucester’s equally ruthless son plots to steal his brothers inheritance and the younger generations align in a savage plot to mercilessly destroy their parents. But will they succeed?

Lear is an epic family drama about mothers and daughters, fathers and sons.

Reuniting the director Phil Willmott with regular collaborator, the actress Ursula Mohan, Lear is the latest in a series of vivid and fast moving Shakespeare productions that have become a popular staple of the Union Theatre’s repertoire.

Past productions have included the modern world premiere of Shakespeare’s Double Falsehood which transfered to the Charing Cross Theatre, the disputed comedy Fair Em, the neglected King John and the problematic Measure for Measure.

Phil Willmott’s other Shakespeare productions include Much Ado about Nothing (Liverpool Playhouse), A Winter’s Tale (Courtyard Theatre), Measure for Measure (Riverside Studios), Titus Andronicus (BAC) and A Midsummer Nights Dream (Dubai).

Ursula Mohan was a member of Peter Brook’s RSC company and played Emilia with Robert Stephens as Othello, Maria in Twelfth Night with Max Wall as Malvolio, Rosaline in Love’s Labour’s Lost, Rosalind in As You like it, First Witch in Charles Marowitz’s version of Macbeth, Gertrude in Hamlet, Nurse in Romeo and Juliet and, most recently, Nurse in Medea, The Mother in Blood Wedding, Grandma in Petite Rouge, Mrs Telfer and Trafalgar Gower in Trelawney of the “Wells”, Storyteller in Jason and the Argonauts, Chorus Leader in Children of Hecuba, Boson Meg in Treasure Island, and Paulina in The Winter’s Tale, all directed by Phil Willmott.

The cast of Lear also includes Richard Derrington, Felicity Duncan, Stephen Harakis, Claire Jeater, Rikki Lawton, Riley Madincea, Tom Mccarron, Alexander Morelli, Simon Purse, John Rayment, Joseph Taylor and Daisy Ward.

Lear is presented by Sasha Regan for the Union Theatre and The Steam Industry.

Tickets: £17, £15 concessions, 1st week all tickets £15. To book, call the box office on 020 7261 9876 or visit www.uniontheatre.biz/.

Times: Tuesday to Saturday at 7.30pm, Saturdays (from June 14) and Sundays at 2.30pm.