The forthcoming Donmar Warehouse production of King Lear, which stars Derek Jacobi as the foolish sovereign, will be seen by many more people than previously expected as it will be screened in over 300 cinemas worldwide.
The screening, which will be held on 3 February 2011, is part of the National Theatre’s NT Live, which will also broadcast the National Theatre productions of Hamlet, FELA!, Frankenstein and The Cherry Orchard, along with Complicite’s A Disappearing Number, in 2010 and 2011.
One of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies, King Lear, which is directed by the Donmar Warehouse’s Artistic Director Michael Grandage, will also tour nationally following its run at the intimate London venue between 3 December 2010 and 5 February 2011.
Grandage commented: “This initiative is born of a desire to share our work with as many people as possible. I believe Derek Jacobi’s King Lear will be an event that deserves to be seen beyond the Donmar Warehouse and I’m delighted we are expanding our UK touring programme, as well as going out live to over 300 cinemas worldwide. It means a Donmar production featuring one of our finest Shakespearean actors will be available to more people than we could ever hold in our Covent Garden home.
I am proud to be teaming up with the National Theatre to broadcast King Lear and excited by the opportunities that it will present to us. It is important for us to create long term partnerships and shared goals in the coming years and the announcement to expand our digital output demonstrates the Donmar’s commitment to the changing times that lie ahead.”
The screening of King Lear, which will be available in more than 22 countries, is the latest in a series of dynamic decisions made by Grandage to expand the Donmar Warehouse’s reach. In 2008 and 2009 the company presented a season in London’s Wyndham’s theatre – a larger space than its usual home – while also running its normal season at the Donmar, later this year it will present a season at the Trafalgar Studios to highlight the work of emerging directors, and it continues to transfer hit shows to Broadway with Tony Award-winning success.
King Lear tells the story of an aging monarch who decides to split his kingdom between his three daughters based on how much they love him. Once his decision is made, his life and kingdom begins to crumble around him.
Jacobi, who won the 2009 Best Actor Laurence Olivier Award for his performance in the Donmar West End production of Twelfth Night, is joined in the cast of King Lear by Gina McKee, Pippa Bennett-Warner, Justine Mitchell, Ron Cook, Paul Jesson and Michael Hadley.