Donmar King Lear, with Derek Jacobi, to Be Broadcast; Additional Casting Announced

News   Donmar King Lear, with Derek Jacobi, to Be Broadcast; Additional Casting Announced
The Donmar Warehouse's upcoming production of King Lear, starring Derek Jacobi in the title role, will tour for eight weeks following its London run. The production will also be broadcast to over 22 countries worldwide in collaboration with the National Theatre Live series.

Derek Jacobi
Derek Jacobi Photo by Johan Persson

Artistic director Michael Grandage will direct the William Shakespeare classic, which will begin previews at the Donmar Dec. 3 prior to an official opening Dec. 7. Performances will continue through Feb. 5, 2011.

Jacobi will be joined on stage by the newly announced Pippa Bennett-Warner, Ron Cook, Michael Hadley, Paul Jesson, Gina McKee and Justine Mitchell.

The production will also feature designs by Christopher Oram, lighting design by Neil Austin and sound design by Adam Cork, who will also compose original music for the play.

The production will be broadcast worldwide to over 22 countries Feb. 3, 2011, as part of the second season of National Theatre Live, the National Theatre's initiative to broadcast live performances to cinemas worldwide.

King Lear will then embark on an eight-week tour of the U.K. to Venue Cymru, Llandudno (Feb. 21-26), Belfast Opera House (Feb. 28-March 5), Glasgow Theatre Royal (March 7-12), Milton Keynes Theatre (March 14-19), The Lowry, Salford (March 21-26), Richmond Theatre (March 28-April 2), Bath Theatre Royal (April 4-9) and Hall for Cornwall (April 11-16). In a statement artistic director Grandage said, "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 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 Donmar describes King Lear as such: "An ageing monarch. A kingdom divided. A child's love rejected. As Lear's world descends into chaos, all that he once believed is brought into question. One of the greatest works in western literature, King Lear explores the very nature of human existence: love and duty, power and loss, good and evil."

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