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King Lear may be Shakespeare’s greatest tragic character so who better to play the role than one of Britain’s most loved stage and film actors? Sir Ian McKellen is playing what he says will be his ‘last great Shakespeare part’ in Jonathan Munby’s production of the play at the Duke of York’s Theatre on London’s West End until 3 November 2018. Approaching the end of his reign, King Lear seeks to divide his kingdom between his three daughters, asking them to display his love for him. But Lear’s decision leads to betrayal and, ultimately, tragic consequences… McKellen has reprised the title role he played at the Chichester Festival Theatre in 2017 which was hailed by audiences and critics alike as a ‘tormenting and triumphant’ performance. The Lord of The Rings and X-Men star features alongside Sinéad Cusack, Danny Webb, Kirsty Bushell, James Corrigan, Lloyd Hutchinson and Claire Price. Munby’s original production of King Lear has been reworked especially for the compact Duke of York’s Theatre, with half the West End theatre’s stall seats taken out to allow audiences to get closer to the action. The result is an intimate and visceral performance that is frankly unmissable.
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