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King Lear

This show has now closed, please visit our London Shows page for a full list of current productions.

About the Show Less...

Pete Postlethwaite returns to London in Shakespeare's greatest regal role. Read More >

Pete Postlethwaite brings his depiction of Shakespeare’s tragic King Lear to the Young Vic after the show’s run in Liverpool.

One of the bard’s greatest tragedies, King Lear charts the downfall of the titular King, who, after abdicating his throne, decides to divide his lands between his three daughters according to the extent to which they publicly declare their love for him. When his favourite daughter, Cordelia, refuses to comply, a devastated Lear disowns her and divides his kingdom between her two sisters.

Postlethwaite’s recent stage credits include The Tempest and The Homecoming in Manchester and Scaramouche Jones on tour, directed by Rupert Goold, who now directs him in King Lear. Postlethwaite’s numerous screen credits include Brassed Off, The Usual Suspects, Criminal Justice, In The Name Of The Father and The Constant Gardener.

Goold, Artistic Director of Headlong theatre company, has been prolific in the West End of late. After his Laurence Olivier Award-winning success with Macbeth last year, he has directed The Last Days Of Judas Iscariot at the Almeida, Six Characters In Search Of An Author at the Gielgud and No Man’s Land at the Duke of York’s. Goold will also direct Oliver! at the Drury Lane later this year.

This production of King Lear began life at the Liverpool Everyman as part of the city’s tenure as 2008 European Capital of Culture.

For more about King Lear at the Young Vic, please read the First Night Feature.


Important Dates & Timing

Previews From: 29/01/2009

Opening Night: 04/02/2009

Closing Night: 28/03/2009

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Cast & Creative


Pete Postlethwaite, John Shrapnel, Forbes Masson, Nigel Cooke, Caroline Faber, Charlotte Randle, Amanda Hale, Jonjo O'Neill, Tobias Menzies, Michael Colgan, Clarence Smith, John-Paul MacLeod, Jacob Anderson


Director - Rupert Goold

Producer - Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse, Headlong Theatre in association with the Young Vic

Designer - Giles Cadle

Lighting Designer - Howard Harrison

Movement Director - Georgina Lamb

Sound - Adam Cork

Author - William Shakespeare

Music By - Adam Cork

About Young Vic

66 The Cut, Lambeth, London SE1 8LZ

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