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McKee joins Jacobi in King Lear

Published 23 July 2010

Gina McKee will join Derek Jacobi in Michael Grandage’s production of King Lear at the Donmar Warehouse this December.

Also joining the cast are Pippa Bennett-Warner and Justine Mitchell as sisters Cordelia and Regan, Ron Cook, Michael Hadley and Paul Jesson.

McKee – who plays Lear’s oldest daughter Goneril – and Grandage previously worked together on Ivanov which was staged as part of the Donmar Warehouse’s West End season in 2008. McKee’s other London stage credits include The Lover & The Collection at the Comedy theatre, Old Times at the Donmar Warehouse and Aristocrats and Uganda at the National Theatre. The actress is well known for her screen work which includes films Notting Hill, In The Loop and Atonement, and television programmes including the highly acclaimed The Forsyte Saga, Waking The Dead and Our Friends In The North, for which she won a BAFTA for Best Actress.

Bennett-Warner, who plays Cordelia, recently graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. She was last seen in Ruined at the Almeida theatre. Her other stage credits include Victory at the Theatre Royal Bath, Caroline Or Change at the National Theatre and a stint as the young Nala in The Lion King at the Lyceum theatre.

Playing the third sister Regan, Mitchell is a veteran stage actress. Her numerous credits at the National Theatre include The White Guard, The Hour We Knew Nothing Of Each Other, Philistines and Coram Boy. Her other London stage appearances include Uncle Vanya at the Young Vic theatre, The Stone at the Royal Court and Nocturnal at the Gate theatre. Mitchell has also worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) starring in Twelfth Night.

Cook steps back onto the Donmar Warehouse stage after his Laurence Olivier Award-nominated performance in 2000 for Juno And The Paycock. He has since appeared in Hamlet and Twelfth Night, starring alongside Jacobi, as part of the Donmar West End Season and The Seafarer and Howard Katz at the National Theatre. Well known for his work on screen, Cook has appeared in films including Charlotte Gray, 24 Hour Party People and Hot Fuzz. His numerous television credits include Little Dorrit, Silent Witness and Whatever It Takes.

Hadley is also a familiar face on screen, recently appearing in the film The Boat That Rocked and in television programmes including Ashes To Ashes and Paradise Heights. On stage he has appeared in productions including Piaf at the Donmar Warehouse, the RSC’s Canterbury Tales at the Gielgud theatre and Don Carlos at the Crucible theatre, sharing the stage with Derek Jacobi.

Jesson was most recently seen on stage in the Laurence Olivier Award-winning comedy Cock at the Royal Court. His other numerous London stage appearances include The Cherry Orchard and The Winter’s Tale at the Old Vic as part of The Bridge Project, Awake And Sing at the Almeida theatre, The Seagull at the Royal Court, Mary Stuart and Twelfth Night at the Donmar Warehouse, as well extensive credits at the National Theatre and RSC.
King Lear opens on 7 December, with previews from 3 December, and runs until 5 February.

CM

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