King Lear | Almeida Theatre, London
Photo Helen Warner Image iwantdesign

King Lear

by William Shakespeare
Fri 31 Aug 2012 - Sat 3 Nov 2012
  1. Our Artistic Director, Michael Attenborough, brings Shakespeare’s greatest tragedy to the intimacy of the Almeida stage.

    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.

    Award-winning actor Jonathan Pryce plays the title role in a production that forms part of the World Shakespeare Festival, which is produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company for London 2012 Festival.

    Production Sponsor
  • Ben Dilloway (King of France), Jonathan Pryce (King Lear), Phoebe Fox (Cordelia), Andrew Nolan (Duke of Burgundy) and Clive Wood (Earl of Gloucester). Photo Keith PattisonBen Dilloway (King of France), Jonathan Pryce (King Lear), Phoebe Fox (Cordelia), Andrew Nolan (Duke of Burgundy) and Clive Wood (Earl of Gloucester). Photo Keith Pattison
  • - Jenny Jules (Regan) and Zoe Waites (Goneril). Photo Keith Pattison.
  • - Clive Wood (Gloucester) and Kieran Bew (Edmund). Photo Keith Pattison.
  • - Jonathan Pryce (Lear). Photo Keith Pattison.
  • - Trevor Fox (Fool). Photo Keith Pattison.
  • - Steven Elliott (Oswald), Chook Sibtain (Cornwall) and Clive Wood (Gloucester). Photo Keith Pattison.
Kieran Bew | King Lear | Almeida Theatre, London

Kieran Bew

Kieran returns to the Almeida having previously appeared in Michael Attenborough’s productions of Reasons To Be Pretty and The Knot of the Heart. He has recently completed the run of After Miss Julie at the Young Vic.

Theatre includes: The House of Special Purpose (Chichester Festival Theatre); Richard II (Old Vic).

Television inlcudes: Whitechapel; Inspector George Gently; Waking The Dead; Silent WitnessPersonal Affairs; Crusoe; The Street; WhistleblowerSpooks.

Film includes: 1234; Green Street.

Ben Dilloway
King of France

Ben’s theatre credits include Step 9 of 12 and Mercury Fur at the Trafalgar Studio 2, Excellent Choice for The Vault Festival at The Old Vic Tunnels, Chicken for Southwark Playhouse, But Otherwise Went Well...for Waterloo East Theatre and The 24 Hour Plays: Old Vic New Voices for the Old Vic.

Film includes: Archers; Hold On Me; Jess//Jim.

Steven Elliott

Steven has previously worked with Michael Attenborough on the world premiere of Pentecost at the RSC. His extensive theatre credits also include Frankenstein; The Winter’s Tale (National Theatre) and Dancing at Lughnasa (Abbey Theatre, Dublin).

Television includes: Judge John Deed; Tess of the D’Urbevilles; Crash.

Film includes: Hamlet; Time Bandits; Cold Earth.

Phoebe Fox

Phoebe graduated from RADA in 2010 and was nominated for the 2011 Evening Standard Outstanding Newcomer award. Her theatre credits include There is a War for the National Theatre, The Acid Test for the Royal Court and Sixty-Six Books for the Bush.

Television includes: Black Mirror; New Tricks; Coming Up.

Trevor Fox

Trevor returns to the Almeida having recently played Gordon in Matthew Dunster’s Children’s Children. His other theatre credits include Toast, Two’s Company and NE1 for Live Theatre Company, The Pitmen Painters for the National Theatre, on Broadway and at the Duchess Theatre, The Cherry Orchard for Oxford Stage Company and Billy Elliot The Musical at the Victoria Palace Theatre.

Television includes: Diamond Geezer; Northern Lights; Doctors.

Film includes: Billy Elliot; Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason; Sub Zero.

Ian Gelder
Earl of Kent

Ian's extensive theatre credits include Henry IV Parts I and II, His Dark Materials and Stuff Happens for the National Theatre as well as The Crucible, Titus Andronicus and Richard III for the RSC.

Television includes: Game of Thrones; Absolutely Fabulous; Psychoville; Silent Witness.

Film includes: Pope Joan; Little Dorritt; The Fool.

Richard Goulding

Richard could recently be seen in Posh at the Duke of York’s Theatre, in a role he originally played 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 for the National Theatre; The Soldier and the Maker at the Barbican and Good at the Royal Exchange Theatre.

Television includes: Foyles War; M.I High

Film includes: The Iron Lady.

Richard Hope
Duke of Albany

Richard has previously been 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 all for the National Theatre, Democracy for Sheffield Crucible and Dirty Dancing at the Aldwych Theatre.

Television includes: Doctor Who; Holby City; EastEnders; Peak Practice; Brideshead Revisited.

Film includes: Mr Morgan’s Last Love.

Jenny Jules

Jenny returns to the Almeida having previously performed in 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 productions including Fabulation, Gem of the Ocean, Walk Hard, The Colour of Justice and The Great White Hope. She can currently be seen in Moon on a Rainbow Shawl at the National Theatre.

Television includes: Vexed; Casualty; Judge John Deed; Golden Hour; A Respectable Trade.

Film includes: A Short Stay in Switzerland; Octane; Up ‘N’ Under; Spiders and Flies.

Barry McCarthy
Lear’s Gentleman

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

Television includes: Doctors; Holby City; Missing; Judge John Deed; Peak Practice; The Final Cut

Film includes: Notes on a Scandal; Kinky Boots; The Food of Love.

Andrew Nolan
Duke of Burgundy

Andrew trained at LAMDA.

Theatre includes: Port Authority (Southwark Playhouse); Butley (Duchess Theatre); The Shape of Things (Gallery Soho - Rhapsody of Words), A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (Skewbald Theatre), A Little Neck (Goat and Monkey), and Black Snow (Lost Trolley)

Roles at LAMDA include: Dorimant in The Man of Mode, Giovanni in 'Tis Pity She's a Whore, Egeon in The Comedy of Errors, Alfieri in A View from the Bridge, and Irwin in The Secret Rapture.

Jonathan Pryce
King Lear

A Tony and Olivier award-winning actor, Jonathan made his Almeida debut playing Martin in Edward Albee’s The Goat or, Who is Sylvia? His extensive theatre credits includes The Caretaker for Liverpool Everyman, Trafalgar Studios and the Adelaide Festival, Glengarry Glen Ross at the Apollo Theatre and My Fair Lady at the National Theatre and the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.

Theatre includes: A Reckoning For (Soho Theatre); Oliver (London Palladium); Miss Saigon (Theatre Royal Drury Lane); Hamlet (Royal Court); Measure for Measure (RSC); Comedians (Old Vic).

Television includes: Cranford; Hysteria; Victoria and Albert.

Film includes:
Pirates of the Caribbean; Tomorrow Never Dies; What a Girl Wants; Evita; Unconditional Love; Brazil; Carrington.

Chook Sibtain
Duke of Cornwall

Chook played Mercutio in Michael Attenborough’s Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Romeo and Juliet. His other theatre credits include A Midsummer Night's Dream at Shakespeare's Globe, The King and I at the Leicester Curve, An Enemy of the People for Sheffield Crucible and A Streetcar Named Desire at the Nuffield Southampton.

Television includes: Hustle; Dr Who; Casualty.

Film includes: Ghost Recon:Alpha; Naachle London; We Make Music.

Christopher Tester
Gloucester's Servant

Christopher trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama.

Theatre includes: Henry V (Theatre Delicatessen), Romeo & Juliet (New Wolsey and UK tour), Blue/Orange (Tobacco Factory), A Place at the Table (Tristan Bates), I Still Get Excited When I See A Ladybird (Theatre 503), The Hypochondriac (English Touring Theatre), Cyrano de Bergerac (White Bear Theatre) and Pride & Prejudice (European Tour). His one man adaptation of Nikolai Gogol's Diary of a Madman with Fail Better Productions has run in both London and Edinburgh.

Zoe Waites

Zoe 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.

Theatre includes: Hobson’s Choice (Crucible Theatre, Sheffield); Bird Song (Comedy Theatre); Hedda Gabler (Theatre Royal Bath).

Television includes: The Other Boleyn Girl; Love In a Cold Climate; Unknown Soldier.

Alix Wilton Regan
Gloucester’s Tenant

Alix’s theatre credits include In Parallel for the Arcola Theatre, Numbers at the King’s Head and To Kill a Mockingbird at the Tricycle Theatre.

Television includes: Come Fly With Me; Hustle.

Film includes: Real Playing Game; World of the Dead; Life Just Is; The Symmetry of Love

Clive Wood
Earl of Gloucester

Clive 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.

Television includes: What To Do When Someone Dies; Waking The Dead; Land Girls

Film includes: Dirty Bomb; The Crucifer of Blood; Treasure Island.


Director Michael Attenborough
Design Tom Scutt
Lighting Jon Clark
Sound and Music Dan Jones
Casting Julia Horan
Fight Director Terry King
Movement Imogen Knight
Magic Consultant Paul Kieve
Assistant Director Alex Crampton

Michael Attenborough

Michael Attenborough is Artistic Director of the Almeida Theatre (since 2002). Previously, he was Associate Director, Mercury Theatre, Colchester (1972-74), Associate Director, Leeds Playhouse (now West Yorkshire Playhouse) (1974-79), Associate Director, Young Vic (1979-80), Artistic Director, Palace Theatre, Watford (1980-84), Artistic Director, Hampstead Theatre (1984-89), Principal Associate Director, Royal Shakespeare Company (1990-2002). On leaving the RSC he was invited to become an Honorary Associate Artist. Earlier this year Michael was presented with the Award for Excellence in International Theatre by the International Theatre Institute.

For the Almeida: Reasons To Be Pretty; The Knot of the Heart; Through a Glass Darkly; Measure For Measure; When the Rain Stops Falling; In a Dark Dark House; The Homecoming; Awake and Sing; Big White Fog; There Came A Gypsy Riding; Enemies; The Late Henry Moss; Brighton Rock; The Mercy Seat; Five Gold Rings.

For the RSC: Amphibians; The Changeling; Les Liaisons Dangereuses (UK and European tour); After Easter; Pentecost; The Herbal Bed (also in the West End and Broadway); Romeo and Juliet; A Month in the Country; Othello; Henry IV parts I and II; The Prisoner’s Dilemma; Antony and Cleopatra.

For the Palace Theatre productions include: The Girl in Melanie Klein; The Big Knife; Romantic Comedy (also in the West End); Terra Nova.

For the Hampstead Theatre productions include: The War at Home (also on Broadway); Particular Friendships; That Summer; Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme; Separation (also in the West End).

Freelance: Over a Barrel; Single Spies (Turnstyle Group); 1984 (Citadel Theatre, Edmonton); Yerma (Abbey Theatre, Dublin); Anna Weiss (West End); My Mother Said I Never Should (Royal Court); Fashion (Tricycle Theatre); Apollo and Daphne (North Wall); Playing with Fire (National Theatre).

Tom Scutt

Tom is an Associate Artist at Soho Theatre.

For the Almeida: Through A Glass Darkly.

Theatre includes: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (Kensington Gardens); 13 (National Theatre); The Merchant of Venice; Romeo and Juliet (Royal Shakespeare Company); Absent Friends (West End); Constellations (West End/Royal Court) Nominated South Bank Sky Arts Theatre Award 2012; South Downs / The Browning Version (West End/Chichester Festival Theatre); Remembrance Day (Royal Court); Hamlet (Sheffield Crucible); Realism (Soho); Mogadishu (Royal Exchange, Manchester / Lyric Hammersmith); After Miss Julie (Salisbury Playhouse); Pressure Drop (On Theatre/ Wellcome Collection); Aladdin, Dick Whittington, Jack and The Beanstalk (Lyric Hammersmith); The Contingency Plan, On the Beach; Resilience (Bush Theatre); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Headlong); Edward Gant’s Amazing Feats of Loneliness (Headlong / Soho); Vanya, Unbroken; The Internationalist (Gate Theatre); Bay (Young Vic); The Merchant of Venice (Octagon Theatre – Manchester Evening News ‘Best Design’ nomination); Metropolis (Theatre Royal Bath); Here Lies Mary Spindler; The Thirteen Midnight Challenges of Angelus Diablo (RSC/Latitude Festival); The Comedy of Errors (RWCMD/RSC); The Observer (Design Consultant, National Theatre Studio); Paradise Lost (Southwark Playhouse); Mad Funny Just (winner of the 2008 ‘Old Vic New Voices Award’) and The Water Harvest (Theatre 503).

Opera includes: Flying Dutchman (Scottish Opera); Rigoletto (Opera Holland Park).

Jon Clark

Jon is an RSC Associate Artist.

For the Almeida: The House of Bernarda Alba.

Theatre includes: Collaborators; A Woman Killed With Kindness; Greenland; Beauty and the Beast; Hamlet; The Cat in the Hat; Pains of Youth; Our Class; Women of Troy (National Theatre); Comedy of Errors; Twelfth Night; The Tempest; King Lear;The Winter’s Tale; The Merchant of Venice; The Homecoming; Silence (RSC);Moonlight; Polar Bears (Donmar); Ten Billion; Red Bud; Aunt Dan and Lemon; The Pride; Gone Too Far! (Royal Court); Into the Woods (Open Air Theatre); Street Scene; Been So Long; The Jewish Wife (Young Vic); The Birthday Party; Water (Lyric Hammersmith); The Little Dog Laughed; Three Days of Rain (Knight of Illumination Award & Olivier Award nomination); The Lover and The Collection (West End); The Painkiller (Lyric Belfast); Salome (Headlong).

Opera includes: Written on Skin (Aix-en-Provence/Royal Opera House); Caligula; The Return of Ulysses (ENO); Orest (Netherlands Opera); Clemency (ROH2/Scottish Opera); Seven Angels; The Lion’s Face; Into the Little Hill; Down by the Greenwood Side (The Opera Group); L’Elisir d’Amore (Grange Park Opera).

Dance includes: new works for Will Tuckett, Cathy Marston, ROH2, Bern Ballett and
Scottish Dance Theatre.

Dan Jones
Sound and Music

Dan won the Prague Quadrennial Special Prize for Sound Design for Kursk, and the Ivor Novello Award for Max and Any Human Heart, which also received a BAFTA Craft Award. He co-directed War Music, Going Dark and Kursk at the Young Vic and Sydney Opera House for Sound & Fury, which he co-founded and of which he is an artistic director.

For the Almeida: The House of Bernarda Alba; The Knot of the Heart; Through a Glass Darkly.

Theatre includes: Antigone; The Kitchen; Greenland (National Theatre); England (Whitechapel / National Theatre); The City Madam; Fall (RSC); Ivan and the Dogs (ATC / Soho); Kursk; War Music; The Watery Part of the World; Going Dark (Sound & Fury); Slippage (Rambert); Othello; The Turn of the Screw; Uncle Vanya (Bristol Old Vic).

Film includes: Max; Shadow of the Vampire; Manolete; Tomorrow La Scala; In Tranzit; White Lilacs; Four Last Songs; Twockers; Turn It Loose.

Television includes: Appropriate Adult; Any Human Heart; Criminal Justice (2009); Dead Set; Charles Darwin and the Tree of Life; Sahara; The Spectre of Hope; The Spying Game; Wildlife on One; The Natural World; The Life of Mammals; Horizon.

Audio artwork and installations include: Suburban Counterpoint: Music for Seven Ice Cream Vans (LIFT, NNF10); Sky Orchestra (Olympics 2012 Fierce Festival, RSC Commission for the Complete Works Festival, Sydney Festival); Dream Director (ICA); Listening Posts (Cork Harbour).

Julia Horan

Julia is a member of the Casting Director’s Guild.

For the Almeida: Filumena; The Knot of the Heart; Through a Glass Darkly; Measure for Measure; When the Rain Stops Falling; In a Dark Dark House; The Homecoming; Nocturne; Awake and Sing!; Dying for It; Out of the Fog.

Theatre includes: A Doll’s House; Wild Swans; After Miss Julie; Government Inspector; Glass Menagerie; Joe Turner’s Come and Gone; Annie Get Your Gun; In The Red and Brown Water; Lost Highway; The Good Soul of Szechuan (Young Vic); Clybourne Park (Royal Court / West End); The Heretic; Get Santa!; Kin; Red Bud; Tribes; Wanderlust; Spur of the Moment; Sucker Punch; Ingredient X (Royal Court); South Downs/The Browning Version; Backbeat; Arcadia; Swimming with Sharks; As You Like It; Antarctica; The Weir (West End); Six Characters in Search of an Author (Chichester Festival Theatre / West End / Sydney Festival); pool (no water) (Frantic Assembly); Gaddafi - A Living Myth (English National Opera); The Golden Dragon; Bad Jazz; A Brief History of Helen of Troy (ATC); Othello (Cheek by Jowl); The Girl on the Sofa (Edinburgh International Festival / Schaubuhne Theatre, Berlin).

Television includes: Adha Cup; Parliamo Glasgow; Harvest; The Verdict; The Bill; The Badness of George IV.

Terry King
Fight Director

For the Almeida: The Late Henry Moss

Theatre includes: His Dark Materials; Henry IV Parts I and II; Scenes from the Big Picture; Othello; Duchess of Malfi; Edmund; Landscape with Weapon; Elmina’s Kitchen; The White Guard (National Theatre); Henry VI Parts I, II, and III; Hamlet; Macbeth; Romeo and Juliet; Coriolanus; As You Like It; Cymbeline; Sniger; Henry V (Royal Shakespeare Company); Our Country is Good (Royal Court); Peter Pan (West Yorkshire Playhouse); Les Liaison Dangereuse (Bristol Old Vic); Of Mice and Men (Birmingham and West End); Festen (Almeida and West End); Caligula; Don Carlos; Othello (Donmar); The People are Friendly (Traverse – Edinburgh); Moon for the Misgotten (Old Vic); Fool for Love (West End); Titus Andronicus (Globe); Three Musketeers (Sheffield Crucible).

Television includes: The Bill; Casualty; EastEnders; Broken Glass; A Kind of Innocence; Fell Tiger; The Scold’s Bridle; Fatal Inversion; Nerys Glas; Death of a Salesman; The Widowing of Mrs Holroyd; The Mayor of Casterbridge; Lucky Jim; Blue Dove; Rock Face.

Musicals and Opera include: Porgy and Bess; Othello; Martin Guerre; Jesus Christ Superstar ; Oliver; Saturday Night Fever; Spend Spend Spend;Fifteen Streets/Lautrec; Chitty Chitty Bang Bang; Guys and Dolls; Billy Elliot the Musical; Cabaret; Fiddler on the Roof ; Jerry Springer the Opera; Our House/Lord of the Rings the Musical; Dirty Dancing; Zorro the Musical.

Imogen Knight

For the Almeida: Filumena; Measure for Measure; When the Rain Stops Falling; Marianne Dreams.

Theatre includes: Twelfth Night; Masters Are You Mad (Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre); Penelope (Dramaturgs Network 2012); Love, Love, Love (Royal Court); The Sound of Heavy Rain (Paines Plough / Sheffield Theatres); Persuasion (Salisbury Playhouse); The Missing; An Appointment With the Wicker Man (National Theatre of Scotland); Corrie (Lowry & UK Tour); As You Like It (West Yorkshire Playhouse); Romeo and Juliet (Young Shakespeare Company); Snow Queen (Chichester Festival Theatre); The Boiler Room (Clean Break); A Doll’s House (Exeter Northcott Theatre); Dido, Queen of Carthage (National Theatre); Wuthering Heights (Birmingham Rep); Hooked (Hampstead Theatre); When Five Years Pass (Arcola Theatre); Success (National Theatre with Islington Youth Theatre).

Film includes: My Name is Ruthie Segal, Hear me Roar (Jewish Film Festival 2009).

Paul Kieve
Magic Consultant

Paul draws upon his lifelong fascination with the history of magic to create original illusions and magical stage effects. He has worked extensively in the West End, and on many productions with the RSC and the National Theatre. He has worked with Derren Brown on his Svengali and Enigma West End show, as well as his Séance and TV series. He is the author of Hocus Pocus (Bloomsbury), published in 11 languages, and is a Gold Star Member of the Inner Magic Circle. He was presented with a 2012 New York Drama Desk award for his work on the Broadway production of Ghost.

Theatre includes: Ghost; Matilda; The Tempest; The Invisible Man (also Theatre Royal, Stratford East and Menier Chocolate Factory); Zorro; The Lord of the Rings; The Woman in White; Our House; The Witches; The Witches of Eastwick; Scrooge (West End).

Other productions include: The Phantom of The Opera (tour); Batman Live; Alice In Wonderland (ENB, The Royal Ballet). 

Television includes: Cranford; Heroes of Magic; Children in Need; I’d Do Anything; History of Magic (BBC).

Film includes: Hugo; Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Alex Crampton
Assistant Director

As a director: Dead Pile (The Old Vic); Kid Arthur & the Knights of the Revolution; The Gut Girls (The Space); A Doll’s House (Arcola / The Space); The Chalky White Substance (The Albany).

“…Michael Attenborough’s fine production…pacey, vital and beautifully spoken…”
Andrzej Lukowski, Time Out, 12 September 2012
Read full review

 “…he’s [Jonathan Pryce] simply brilliant... It’s horrible, it’s beautiful, it’s what you come to Lear to see.”
Dominic Maxwell, The Times, 12 September 2012

“…Michael Attenborough’s carefully charted production…”
Paul Taylor, The Independent, 12 September 2012
Read full review

“The thing you notice…is Mr Pryce’s beautiful verse-speaking. It is not ostentatious. The lines just trip out of him and you can hear them as though for the first time.”
Quentin Letts, Daily Mail, 12 September 2012
Read full review

“ A striking, sharp, sexually charged Lear…he [Jonathan Pryce] gives a striking individualistic performance in a carefully considered production directed by Michael Attenborough… that leaves you in a state of quiet admiration.…(Phoebe) Fox…makes Cordelia a refreshingly ballsy figure…Zoe Waites and Jenny Jules lend Goneril and Regan a palpable sense of inherited wrong and resentment.”
Michael Billington, The Guardian, 12 September 2012
Read full review

“Michael Attenborough’s production is lucid, well-spoken and confidently paced… On a fine, forbidding set by Tom Scutt, it feels loaded with imagery of furtiveness and repression – but has a satisfying directness.”
Evening Standard, 12 September 2012
Read full review

Julie Carpenter, Daily Express, 14 September 2012
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Sarah Hemming, Financial Times, 15 September 2012
Read full review

 “Pryce’s performance is rich, devastating and without doubt among the very best.”
Georgina Brown, Mail on Sunday, 16 September 2012


 Independent on Sunday

“Pryce becomes both thrilling and deeply moving…brilliantly captures both the torment and the sudden glimmers of truth that Lear discovers in his insanity…Ian Gelder is excellent as Kent and Trevor Fox as a touching Geordie Fool... Clive Wood on splendid form”
Charles Spencer, The Daily Telegraph, 12 September 2012

"Pryce gives a brilliant performance... the staging is wonderful - and, in the second half, beautiful."   
Front Row, BBC Radio 4.

"Trevor Fox's Geordie Fool is wonderfully caustic and weary; Jon Clark's intricate lighting captures characters on the heah as if lighting were the brush of an old master."
Susannah Clapp, The Observer, 16 September 2012

"A very fresh production... very moving, very strong and beautifully clear... Pryce is terrific... Richard Goulding very affecting... Kieran Bew, terrific, delicious."
BBC Radio 4 Saturday Review






“One of the best Shakespeares I've ever seen… powerful acting that choked me up at several points. [Jonathan Pryce's] performance was exceptional, with strong ensemble support from the rest of the cast.”

“Exceptional. A must for its acting, flawless flowing comprehensible diction, depth of mood, staging that enhances not upstages, text and contextual characterization and holistic direction. A watershed performance in the history of King Lear."

“What moved me even more than the play was the experience of several hundred people in rapt attention, listening to every word of what I consider the greatest play in the English language. And I can’t recall a production of Lear (and I’ve seen a lot over the past 30 years) when the language was spoken with such clarity.”

“Very powerful... Jonathan outstanding”

“Electric production of King Lear @AlmeidaTheatre, Jonathan Pryce superb as Lear and fantastic staging. Really zips along, highly recommended.”

“Absolutely STUNNNING #Lear at @AlmeidaTheatre, perfectly paced, with a fantastic cast, best time I had watching the play in quite a while.”

“The most emotionally charged of the Lears I've seen”

“Worth every second... An extraordinary experience and epic example of the best of #London #theatre”

“Riveting and fresh - domestic tragedy, witty and unsentimental. Sparse and clear. Loved it.”

“Rather fabulous… Clear and compelling J.P a master of language and emotional punch as ever.”

“Not much can keep me so riveted for 3 hours as that stunning, atmospheric, by turns humorous and pitiful #KingLear”

“Bowled over by #King #Lear @AlmeidaTheatre... Tragic & funny and profound at so many different levels. One to return to!”


Previews Fri 31 August - Thurs 6 September
Press Night Tue 11 September (7pm)

Evening performances 7.30pm
Saturday matinees 2.30pm from 15 September 

Running time is approximately 3 hours including a 20 minute interval.
Latecomers may not be admitted; likewise if you leave the auditorium during the performance you may not be able to return.

Day Seats
A limited number of seats will be released each day at 11am.


King Lear | Dates and Tickets |Caption Performance Captioned Tue 9 October, 7.30pm
Audio-described Sat 20 October, 2.30pm (Touch Tour at 1pm)


£8, £16, £24, £32
See seating plan for further details

£8, £16, £22, £26

Concessions* (Jobseekers Allowance, Full-Time Students, Over 60s)
Mon – Thu evenings £16 (normal price £22 / £24)
Wed & Sat matinees £16 (any seat in the house)

Deaf and disabled patrons*
All performances £16 (any seat in the house)

Under 30s*
Valid on all Mondays of the run £16 (best available)
More info

Young Friends of the Almeida
Happy Mondays £5
More info

Educational Group Bookings
Partner schools £12
Other UK state schools £20
Visit the Education section of our website to find out more

*All concessions are subject to availability and proof of eligibility must be presented when booking and collecting tickets.

Arts Council England ASP Group