King Lear {Great Stage on Screen}

/King Lear {Great Stage on Screen}

Saturday, September 15 at 11:00 am

Adult price is $15

Seniors and Children & Military $13.50

RUN TIME: 174 minutes

CAST: Ian McKellen, Frances Barber, Romola Garai, Monica Dolan


  • Directed By: Trevor Nunn & Chris Hunt
  • Produced By: Richard Price & Chris Hunt
  • Composer: Steven Edis


This film of the multi-award-winning production of King Lear by the Royal Shakespeare Company was itself nominated for an Emmy. Filmed over several weeks in Pinewood Studios, and directed by Chris Hunt and the play’s stage director Trevor Nunn, it captured a tour de force performance by Ian McKellen in the title role.

Lear’s daughters Goneril, Regan and Cordelia were played by Frances Barber, Monica Dolan and Romola Garai, with erstwhile ‘Doctor Who’ Sylvester McCoy as the Fool, and great RSC regulars William Gaunt and Jonathan Hyde as Gloucester and Kent.

The play is among Shakespeare’s greatest, a tragedy about an old king who thinks he can buy the affection of his daughters, only to find that this is far from the case, with terrible consequences. Goneril and Regan conspire against him, Cordelia goes to France, and Lear is eventually driven mad by a combination of his own folly and the ‘monster ingratitude’ of his daughters. He loses his wits in a storm raging on a heath, but is eventually rescued by Cordelia, only to find that his other daughters have ordered Cordelia and Lear both to be killed. In the event Goneril poisons her other sister and commits suicide, and Cordelia is murdered – but Lear kills the assassin before himself dying of grief.

This production was reviewed as the greatest version of the play for a generation, and has yet to be equalled in its powerful acting, masterful stage directing, and sympathetic capture on film.