facebook play-alt chevron-thin-right chevron-thin-left cancel location info chevron-thin-down star-full help-with-circle calendar images mail whatsapp directions_car directions_bike train directions_walk directions_bus close spinner11
Are you missing theatre as much as we are? Support us now with Theatre Tokens and see your favourite shows when they reopen. #IMissTheatre

McKellen and Barber bring double bill to London

First Published 17 April 2008, Last Updated 21 April 2008

The Royal Shakespeare Company productions of King Lear and Chekhov’s The Seagull, starring Ian McKellen and Frances Barber, are to transfer to the West End’s New London theatre on 12 November.

Trevor Nunn’s directorial double bill is currently playing in repertoire in Stratford until the end of June. The two plays will also run in rep during the London season, which follows a world tour.

In The Seagull, Frances Barber leads the cast as Arkadina, with McKellen sharing the role of Sorin with William Gaunt; while in King Lear – the closing production of the RSC’s Complete Works Festival – McKellen takes the title role and Barber plays Goneril.

Both leads were in the news when they first opened; Barber injured herself in a cycling accident causing the postponement of the press night for King Lear, while McKellen hit the headlines during previews after some theatregoers were reportedly shocked to find that he appears nude on stage in the Shakespeare.

Both Barber and McKellen have frequented the London stage on many occasions. Barber was in London last summer playing Cleopatra in Antony And Cleopatra at Shakespeare’s Globe; McKellen’s last appearance in the capital was in The Cut at the Donmar Warehouse in February 2006. The pair last worked together on slightly different fare – the Old Vic’s highly successful production of the pantomime Aladdin.

Commenting on the transfer of the two plays into the New London, RSC Executive Director Vikki Heywood said: “We are delighted that the company is getting the chance to perform in the New London. The RSC has played in a variety of venues in the capital, including past performances at the Haymarket, Playhouse and Trafalgar Studios, amongst others. We are also continuing our five year relationship with Cameron Mackintosh, whose theatres, including the Gielgud, Coward and Novello, have recently housed the Company’s London seasons to great box office success”.

A spokesman from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group, which owns the New London, commented: “We are delighted to welcome the RSC to the New London. Our unique flexible stage and auditorium will allow for Trevor Nunn’s repertoire to transfer with ease from the Courtyard in Stratford.”

Currently at the New London is wacky entertainment show Blue Man Group, which closes on 24 June after a run of 18 months.

Booking for the RSC double bill opens in September.

CB

Share

Sign up

Related articles

If you click through to seat selection (where you'll see either best available or a seating plan), you will be seeing the most up-to-date prices. If this differs from what we've written on the calendar, please bear with us, as those prices will update soon.

We now sell our famous TKTS Booth discounts online here at Official London Theatre.

We are now cancelling all performances up until and including 31 May 2020 to help us process existing bookings whilst we wait for further clarity from the government in terms of when we will be able to reopen.

We are so sorry that in these testing and difficult times you are not able to enjoy the show you have booked for and hope the following helps clarify next steps in respect of your tickets .

There is nothing that you need to do if your performance has been cancelled, but we do ask for your patience.

If you have booked directly with the theatre or show website for an affected performance, please be assured that they will contact you directly to arrange an exchange for a later date, a credit note/voucher or a refund. If you have booked via a ticket agent they will also be in contact with you directly.

We are processing in strict date order of performance, so you are likely to be contacted after the date you were due to go to the theatre. However, we want to reassure you that you will be contacted, and your order will be processed, but please do bear with us.

We’d like to thank everyone who has been patient and kind in dealing with their ticket providers so far and we are sorry that we cannot process your order as quickly as we would like.

Please do not contact your credit card company as that will slow the process down and put an additional burden on our box office and ticket agent teams.

In order for us to serve our audiences the best we can, please do not get in touch with your point of sale if you have booked for performances after 31 May. Please be reassured that if we have to cancel future performances you will be directly contacted by your theatre or ticket provider. Our producers continue to plan for all eventualities dependent on the individual needs of their shows and we will provide further updates on specific shows as and when they become available.

We look forward to welcoming you back into our theatres as soon as we are allowed to resume performances. In the meantime stay safe and healthy.

While theatres are currently closed, various venues and productions are making announcements for their individual shows, including cancellations and rescheduled performances. Please check with the individual shows for details.