Laurence Olivier
(Movies & TV)
John Gielgud
(Movies & TV)
Jonathan Miller
Ian McKellen
(Movies & TV)
Peter Brook
Glenda Jackson
(Movies & TV)

See also

King Lear

Knowledge Identifier: $King_Lear


King Lear

Tragedy by William Shakespeare add

Category: Literature

Launched in 1603.

Countries: United Kingdom (56%), United States (16%), Australia (6%)

Main connections: Laurence Olivier, John Gielgud, Jonathan Miller

Linked to: American Company, Duke's Company, King's Company, Royal Shakespeare Company




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William Shakespeare - In the case of King Lear, however, while most modern additions do conflate them, the 1623 folio version is so different from the 1608 quarto, that the Oxford Shakespeare prints them both, arguing that they cannot be conflated without confusion.


Magdeleine-Marie Desgarcins - She was one of the actresses who left the Comédie-Francaise in 1791 for the house in the rue Richelieu, soon to become the Théatre de la République, and there her triumphs were no less in "King Lear", "Othello", La Harpes Melanie et Virginie, etc


Edgar Allan Poe - Edgar may have been named after a character in William Shakespeare's King Lear, a play the couple was performing in 1809.


William Macready - In 1833 he played in "Antony and Cleopatra", in Byron's "Sardanapalus", and in "King Lear"


William Macready - He was responsible, in 1834, and more fully in 1838, for returning the text of "King Lear" to the Shakespeare's text , after it had been replaced for more than a hundred and fifty years by Tate's happy-ending adaptation, "The History of King Lear"


Samuel Phelps - He was generally considered the finest King Lear of his generation, returning to Shakespeare's version, which had been replaced on stage for over a hundred and fifty years by Tate's happy ending adaptation "The History of King Lear", and staging the first production of the original version since the Restoration in 1845


Hector Berlioz - Before returning to Rome, Berlioz composed the overtures to King Lear in Nice and Rob Roy, and began work on a sequel to the Symphonie fantastique, Le retour à la vie, renamed Lelio in 1855.


Ada Dyas - In 1892 she played Goneril in Sir Henry Irving's revival of "King Lear" at the London Lyceum


John Gielgud - But many believed that his greatest successes were in Shakespearean productions in which he both directed and starred, especially Romeo and Juliet, Richard II, King Lear, Much Ado About Nothing and his signature role of Hamlet.


Fotos Politis - He soon starts the translation in modern Greek iambic verse of Sophocles' "Oedipus Rex" and chooses one of Greece's greatest actors, Aimilios Veakis, whose memorable performance as King Lear at the Royal Theater of Greece in 1938 has remained indelibly written in the history of 20th century Greek theater, to appear in the homonymous role


John McCallum (actor) - From there he moved to similar roles at the Old Vic under Harley Granville-Barker in which he appeared in the historic 1939 production of "King Lear" which featured Jack Hawkins with Peggy Ashcroft, Fay Compton and Cathleen Nesbitt


Joan Sanderson - She appeared in repertory theatres, on the West End stage and at the Stratford Memorial Theatre, where she made her début in 1939 playing Amelia in "The Comedy of Errors", a phase in her career that culminated in 1953 when she played both Goneril to Michael Redgrave's King Lear, and Queen Margaret in "Richard III",


Laurence Olivier - His tension towards Gielgud came to a head in 1940, when Olivier approached London impresario Binkie Beaumont about financing him in a repertory of the four great Shakespearean tragedies of Hamlet, Othello, Macbeth and King Lear.


The last of the great actor-managers, Donald Wolfit, played Lear on a Stonehenge-like set in 1944 and was praised by James Agate as "the greatest piece of Shakespearean acting since I have been privileged to write for the "Sunday Times" add something


Alec Guinness - Guinness returned to the Old Vic in 1946 and stayed until 1948, playing Abel Drugger in Ben Jonson's "The Alchemist", the Fool in "King Lear" opposite Laurence Olivier in the title role, DeGuiche in "Cyrano de Bergerac" opposite Ralph Richardson in the title role, and finally starring in an Old Vic production as Shakespeare's Richard II


Walter Nugent Monck - These productions included a "Pericles, Prince of Tyre" with Paul Scofield in 1947; "Cymbeline" at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in 1946; and "King Lear" in London in 1953


Ruth Cracknell - In 1948, she joined the John Alden Company and had roles in "King Lear", "Measure for Measure" and "The Tempest"


Joseph Mankiewicz' 1949 "House of Strangers" is often considered a "Lear" adaptation, but the parallels are more striking in its 1954 Western remake "Broken Lance" in which a cattle baron played by Spencer Tracy tyrannises over his three sons, of whom only the youngest, Joe, played by Robert Wagner, remains loyal add something


For example, Peggy Ashcroft, at the RST in 1950, played the role in a breastplate and carrying a sword add something


George Devine - Byam Shaw had moved to Stratford-on-Avon to run the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, and Devine directed several successful Shakespeare productions there in the early 1950s, including a notorious version of King Lear , which starred John Gielgud and was designed by the experimental Japanese American artist and sculptor Isamu Noguchi


Robert MacBryde - These included sets for Gielgud's "Macbeth", "King Lear" at Stratford and Massine's Scottish ballet "Donald of the Burthens", produced by the Sadler's Wells Ballet at Covent Garden in 1951


Robert Colquhoun - These included sets for Gielgud's "Macbeth", "King Lear" at Stratford and Massine's Scottish ballet "Donald of the Burthens", produced by the Sadler's Wells Ballet at Covent Garden in 1951


Stephen Murray (actor) - In 1952 he returned to the Old Vic to play King Lear, and toured Europe in that production


Michael Redgrave - After appearing as Frank Elgin in "Winter Journey" at the St James's April 1952, he rejoined the Stratford company in 1953 appearing as Shylock, King Lear and Antony in "Antony and Cleopatra", playing Antony when the company transferred to the Prince's Theatre in November 1953 before touring in the Netherlands, Belgium and Paris


Noel Howlett - At Stratford-on-Avon in 1953, he played Old Gobbo in The Merchant of Venice, Edward IV , Baptista in The Taming of the Shrew and Gloucester in King Lear


Scott Forbes - He played the Duke of Cornwall in Peter Brook's 1953 television adaptation of "King Lear" with Orson Welles as Lear


Nicholas Harding - "'Nicholas Harding"' is an Australian artist who won the Archibald Prize in 2001 with a portrait of John Bell as King Lear


Charles Laughton - He made his final theatre appearances as Nick Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream and as King Lear at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in 1959, although failing health resulted in both performances being disappointing, according to some British critics.


Philip Bosco - He received a Tony Award nomination for his debut in "The Rape of the Belt" in 1960 and spent the next three decades supporting major stars in classic revivals like "Cyrano de Bergerac", "King Lear," and "Twelfth Night


Trevor Howard - Howard left behind just two Shakespeare performances, the first, recorded in the 1960s, was as Petruchio opposite Margaret Leighton's Kate in Caedmon Records' complete recording of "The Taming of the Shrew"; the second was in the title role of "King Lear" for the BBC World Service in 1986


At Stratford-upon-Avon in 1962, Peter Brook set the action simply, against a huge, empty white stage add something


Ming Cho Lee - Lee's first Broadway play as Scenic Designer was "The Moon Besieged" in 1962; he went on to design the sets for over 20 Broadway shows, including Mother Courage and Her Children, King Lear, The Glass Menagerie, "The Shadow Box," and "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf"


Ruth Sobotka - She appeared in a number of Off-Broadway productions and was a member of the Seattle Repertory Theatre during their first season in 1963, playing Cordelia in "King Lear"


Ezio Frigerio - From on a fertile artistic marriage started between art director and producer, setting up several unique productions as "I giganti della montagna" , "Santa Giovanna dei macelli" , "Re Lear" , "Il temporale" , "L'Illusion Comique", which premiered in 1984 at Théatre de l'Odéon in Paris , "La grande magia", which premiered in 1985 and was reprised several times


Ian Holm - He received the 1967 Tony *award for Best Featured Actor for his performance as Lenny in "The Homecoming" and the 1998 Laurence Olivier *award for Best Actor for his performance in the title role of "King Lear"


Lee J. Cobb - In 1968 his performance as King Lear with Stacy Keach as Edmund, René Auberjonois as the Fool and Philip Bosco as Kent achieved the longest run for the play in Broadway history


This argument, however, was not widely discussed until the late 1970s, when it was revived, principally by Michael Warren and Gary Taylor add something


Michael Hordern - He played King Lear, as directed by Jonathan Miller, at the Nottingham Playhouse in 1970


Timothy West - Edinburgh Festival - Timothy West has played Macbeth twice, Uncle Vanya twice, Solness in "The Master Builder" twice, and King Lear three times: in 1971 for Prospect Theatre Company at the Edinburgh Festival and on a worldwide tour; in 1991 in Dublin for Second Age and in 2003 for English Touring Theatre, on tour in the UK and at the Old Vic


Ian Hogg (actor) - Hogg played the role of Edmund in Peter Brook's 1971 film version of Shakespeare's "King Lear"


A scene in which a character is threatened with blinding in the manner of Gloucester forms the climax of the 1973 parody horror "Theatre of Blood" add something


In 1974, Buzz Goodbody directed "Lear", a deliberately abbreviated title for Shakespeare's text, as the inaugural production of the RSC's studio theatre The Other Place add something


Frankie Faison - Faison started his acting career in 1974 in the New York Shakespeare Festival production of "King Lear", with James Earl Jones in the title role


Jonathan Miller has twice directed Michael Hordern in the title role for English television, the first for the BBC's "Play of the Month" in 1975 and the second for the "BBC Television Shakespeare" in 1982 add something


Michael Kitchen - He played the role of Martin in the original production of Dennis Potter's "Brimstone and Treacle"; Peter in Stephen Poliakoff's "Caught on a Train"; Edmund in the BBC Television Shakespeare production of "King Lear"; the Antipholi in the same series' production of "The Comedy of Errors"; Private Bamforth in the 1979 BBC television play of "The Long and the Short and the Tall"; Rochus Misch in "The Bunker"; In 1993 he appeared in an episode of the BBC Police TV-series Between the Lines; as Berkeley Cole in "Out of Africa", t


Ernst Schroder (actor) - In 1981 he staged a production of Shakespeare's "King Lear" at the Bad Hersfeld Festival


Also for English television, Laurence Olivier took the role in a 1983 TV production for Granada Television add something


Comic use is made of Sir's inability to physically carry any actress cast as Cordelia opposite his Lear in the 1983 film of the stage play "The Dresser" add something


Dominic Muldowney - Film and television credits include music for "Loose Connections" , some of the music for "1984" , he wrote scores for "Sharpe's Eagle" and "King Lear" and "Stella Street"


Laurence Olivier - Finally, in 1983 Olivier played his last great Shakespearean role, King Lear, for Granada Television.


Jeremy Kemp - He appeared as Cornwall in the 1984 TV movie version of "King Lear" opposite Laurence Olivier as Lear


In 1985 a major screen adaptation of the play appeared: "Ran", directed by Akira Kurosawa add something


James Purefoy - Purefoy subsequently joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1988 and appeared in "The Constant Couple", "Macbeth", "The Tempest", "The Man Who Came to Dinner" and "King Lear" as Edgar


A number of women have played male roles in "King Lear"; most commonly the Fool, who has been played by Judy Davis and Emma Thompson but also, significantly, Lear himself, played by Marianne Hoppe in 1990 and by Kathryn Hunter in 1996-7 add something


Francis Ford Coppola deliberately incorporated elements of "Lear" in his 1990 sequel "The Godfather Part III", including Michael Corleone's attempt to retire from crime throwing his domain into anarchy, and most obviously the death of his daughter in his arms add something


John Boorman's 1990 "Where the Heart Is" features a father who disinherits his three spoilt children add something


When John Wood took the role in 1990, he played the later scenes in clothes that looked like cast-offs, inviting deliberate parallels with the uncared-for in modern Western societies add something


Simon Russell Beale - He broadened his range in the early 1990s with moving performances as Konstantin in Chekhov's "The Seagull", as Oswald in Ibsen's "Ghosts", Ferdinand in "The Duchess of Malfi" and as Edgar in "King Lear"


David Bradley (actor) - He was *awarded a Laurence Olivier *award in 1991 for his supporting actor role in "King Lear" at the Royal National Theatre


Jane Smiley - Her best-selling "A Thousand Acres", a story based on William Shakespeare's "King Lear", received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1992


Indeed, modern productions of Shakespeare's plays often reflect the world in which they are performed as much as the world for which they were written: and the Moscow theatre scene in 1994 provided an example, when two very different productions of the play , very different from one another in their style and outlook, were both reflections on the break-up of the Soviet Union add something


John Gielgud - Gielgud gave one of his final radio performances in the title role of an All Star production of King Lear in 1994 that was mounted to celebrate his 90th birthday.


In 1997, Jocelyn Moorhouse directed "A Thousand Acres", based on Jane Smiley's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, set in 1990s Iowa add something


Perhaps even more radical was Ong Keng Sen's 1997 adaptation of "King Lear", which featured six actors each performing in a separate Asian acting tradition and in their own separate languages add something


Barrie Kosky - In 1998 he directed "Mourning Becomes Electra" for the STC, and "King Lear" for the Bell Shakespeare company's touring production


Ian Holm - Holm has been nominated for an Emmy *award twice, for a PBS broadcast of a National Theatre production of "King Lear", in 1999; and for a supporting role in the HBO film "The Last of the Blonde Bombshells" opposite Judi Dench, in 2001


Ashley Jensen - They met in 1999 while working on a stage production of "King Lear"


The show later went on tour, and in 2000 played at Shakespeare's Globe, completing "a kind of symbolic circle" add something


The play was again adapted to the world of gangsters in Don Boyd's 2001 "My Kingdom", a version which differs from all others in commencing with the Lear character, Sandeman, played by Richard Harris, in a loving relationship with his wife add something


Unlike Shakespeare's Lear, but like Hidetora and Sandeman, the central character of Uli Edel's 2002 American TV adaptation "King of Texas", John Lear played by Patrick Stewart, has a back-story centred on his violent rise to power add something


Christopher Plummer - In 2002, he appeared in a lauded production of "King Lear", directed by Jonathan Miller


Emilia Fox - "King Lear" Naxos Audiobooks, 2002


Christopher Plummer - He was nominated for a Tony *award and a Drama Desk *award for his 2004 "King Lear" and for a Tony playing Henry Drummond in the 2007 revival of "Inherit the Wind"


John Normington - In 2004, Normington appeared in "King Lear" in Stratford


Tanya Moiseiwitsch - In addition, she is credited for the 2004 revival of "King Lear", in which the scenery was based on her designs for Stratford


Lou Gish - Chichester Festival Theatre - She acted with her sister Kay Curram in "King Lear" at the Chichester Festival Theatre in 2005


David Warner (actor) - Chichester Festival Theatre - In May 2005, at the Chichester Festival Theatre Warner made a return to Shakespeare, playing the title role in Steven Pimlott's production of "King Lear"


Dominic Dromgoole - At the Globe, he directed "Coriolanus" and "Antony and Cleopatra" for the 2006 season, "Love's Labour's Lost" for the 2007 season and "King Lear" in 2008


Stacy Keach - In 2006, he performed the lead role in Shakespeare's "King Lear" at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago


Mili Avital - In theater, Avital played Cordelia in "King Lear" at the Electric Lodge , 2006, directed by Patsy Rodenburg


David Warner (actor) - According to his 2007 programme CV, Warner's other work for the theatre has included "The Great Exhibition" at Hampstead Theatre ; "I, Claudius" at the Queen's Theatre ; "A Feast of Snails" at the Lyric Theatre ; "Where There's a Will" at the Theatre Royal, Bath; "King Lear" at Chichester Festival Theatre ; and "Major Barbara" on Broadway


Peter Sellars - An extensive commentary by Sellars is included in the 2007 DVD of Grigori Kozintsev's "King Lear" by Facets Video


Frances Barber - Barber is a regular face on British television; she guest starred in the spring 2007 season of the BBCs "Hustle", reprised her role as Goneril in the 2008 TV film of "King Lear"


Ian McKellen - In 2007 he returned to the Royal Shakespeare Company, in productions of King Lear and The Seagull, both directed by Trevor Nunn.


Jonathan Hyde - In 2007, Hyde played Dr. Dorn in Chekhov's "The Seagull" and the Earl of Kent in "King Lear" for the RSC in a repertory company that included Ian McKellen, Frances Barber, Romola Garai, William Gaunt and Sylvester McCoy


Logan Marshall-Green - In 2007, he was cast as the villainous Edmund in the Public Theater production of "King Lear" starring Kevin Kline in the title role and directed by James Lapine


Frances Barber - She again starred with Ian McKellen in 2007 playing Goneril in Trevor Nunn's production of "King Lear" and as Arkadina in Chekhov's "The Seagull" with the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon followed by a world tour throughout the year


Richard Davey - Davey's long lasting interest in Shakespeare's "King Lear" saw production in November 2007 of an adaptation "The Madness of King Lear" in Hobart, Tasmania


Forbes Masson - He appeared as The Fool to Pete Postlethwaite's "King Lear", directed by Rupert Goold at The Everyman Theatre in Liverpool Autumn 2008 and the Young Vic in early 2009 with Headlong Theatre Co.


Jonathan Hyde - He reprised his role of Kent in the 2008 television film of "King Lear"


Sally Bretton - In 2008 she played Goneril in Shakespeare's "King Lear" at Shakespeare's Globe


Andy Picheta - In early 2008, Picheta was line producer in the latest television adaptation of Shakespeare's King Lear for the Royal Shakespeare Company


Stacy Keach - In the summer of 2009, Shakespeare Theatre Company remounted the production of "King Lear" at Sidney Harman Hall in Washington D.C., which won him the Helen Hayes *award for Outstanding Actor


Alexander Goehr - English Touring Opera - Goehr has recently returned to the operatic medium with the opera "Promised End", based on Shakespeare's King Lear, which will be performed in 2010 by English Touring Opera


Tim Pigott-Smith - In 2011 he took the title role in "King Lear" at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds


Ron Cook - In 2011, he played The Fool in "King Lear" starring Derek Jacobi at the Donmar and on an 8-week tour


Neve McIntosh - In September 2011 she played Goneril in a production of King Lear at the West Yorkshire Playhouse


In 2012, Peter Hinton directed an all-First Nations production of "King Lear" at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, with the setting changed to an Algonquin nation in the 17th century add something


David Hayman - In 2012, he returned to the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow to play the title role in "King Lear"


"The Globe and Mail", May 13, 2012 add something


Jos Vantyler - In September 2013 Sir Jonathan Miller directed the Gala Performance of William Shakespeare's King Lear at The Old Vic in London


Simon Russell Beale - King Lear - In January 2014 he will play the title role in "King Lear" at the National Theatre, directed once again by Sam Mendes


Nicholas Bailey - King Lear - Bailey has performed in numerous theatre productions, with roles including, Macduff in Macbeth at The Mercury Theatre, Colchester, October 2014; Robert Mugabe's security officer Gabriel in "Breakfast with Mugabe", and The Duke of Burgundy in Richard Eyre's production of "King Lear" at the National Theatre, London


In 2015, Toronto's Theatre Passe Muraille staged a production set in Upper Canada, against the backdrop of the Upper Canada Rebellion of 1837 add something


Don Warrington - In late 2015, it was announced that Warrington would play King Lear in Talawa Theatre Company's production of William Shakespeare's play


Jos Vantyler - Sir Jonathan Miller's 2015 "revelatory" 5 star production of King Lear again saw Vantyler in role role of Oswald for Miller, this time opposite Barrie Rutter as Lear


Brian Blessed - On 19 January 2015, Blessed collapsed on stage during a performance of King Lear with the Guildford Shakespeare Company, in which his daughter Rosalind was acting


"Toronto Star", November 16, 2015 add something


Philip Whitchurch - In 2016 Whitchurch was cast as the Duke of Gloucester in the Talawa Theatre Company and Royal Exchange Manchester co-production of King Lear


Alfred Enoch - In 2016, Enoch was cast as Edgar/Poor Tom in the well received Talawa Theatre Company and Manchester Royal Exchange co-production of King Lear, for which he won much praise for his characterisation and the physicality he brought to the roles


Rhys Ifans - In 2016, Ifans played Fool alongside Glenda Jackson in Deborah Warner's production of King Lear, at the Old Vic


Don Warrington - Warrington won universal acclaim for his performance as King Lear in the 2016 Talawa Theatre Company and Manchester Royal Exchange co-production, with critics describing it as a "heartbreaking tour-de-force", The Stage wrote that "Warrington seizes and owns it with magnetic, majestic power"


King Lear: The Film is available free in the UK and internationally via the BBC and British Council collaboration, Shakespeare Lives till 30 September 2016 add something


"The Telegraph", November 5, 2016 add something


"The Globe and Mail", July 5, 2017 add something


In October 2017, Big Finish Productions released an audio drama adaptation directed by Barnaby Edwards as part of their "Big Finish Classics" range add something


Ian McKellen - Chichester Festival Theatre - In October 2017, McKellen played King Lear at Chichester Festival Theatre, a role which he said was likely to be his "last big Shakespearean part"


Tobias Menzies - King Lear - In 2018 Menzies will appear as Cornwall in a BBC2 adaptation of "King Lear" starring Anthony Hopkins


On 28 May 2018, BBC Two broadcast "King Lear" starring Anthony Hopkins in the title role and Emma Thompson as Goneril add something


Richard Eyre - The BBC Two television film King Lear was directed by Eyre and broadcast on 28 May 2018


Glenda Jackson - Jackson has returned to the role of King Lear in the spring of 2019 with the production set for a Broadway opening in April and currently in previews


Glenda Jackson - Jackson has returned to the role of King Lear on Broadway in a production that opened in April 2019