Directed by James Eley, Shakespeare’s tale of ancient Albion, King Lear, is transposed to the turbulent times of the present day.
The shortlist for the 64th Evening Standard Theatre Awards has been unveiled. The winners will be announced on Sunday 18 November at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.
News, reviews, controversies and commentary from the West End and Broadway, including the first West End job share and the re-opening of the Kiln Theatre (formerly the Tricycle).
Ian McKellen reprises his role as King Lear in the West End transfer of Jonathan Munby’s production which has arrived in London following its run in Chichester. Here’s what the critics have been making of it…
… Read More
For this third time in the role we are told that Ian McKellen deliberately chose to play it in the intimacy of Chichester’s Minerva last year; here in the West End a reconfiguring of the Duke of York’s maintains much of that atmosphere.
Stand-out performances in any era are often only judged so in retrospect and modern theatre offers much that will be remembered. But once in a while, you know you’re in the presence of greatness, and Ian McKellen’s King Lear will be talked about for years to come.
There are, of course, a range of new shows to choose from – both in and out of London. Pigspurt’s Daughter (by Ken Campbell’s daughter Daisy) plays at Hampstead’s Downstairs venue, Honey will be performed at The Cockpit, Boxman and Where the Hell is Bernard? both run at the Blue Elephant Theatre.
If you enjoyed Antony Sher’s Lear, his Willy Loman or any of his previous books this is a must read, and if you have any interest in the inner thoughts of a performer at the top of their profession you’ll want to read this too. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to find my DVD and revisit the production…
Chichester Festival Theatre’s critically-acclaimed production of Shakespeare’s King Lear, starring Ian McKellen, will receive a West End transfer, running at the Duke of York’s Theatre for 100 performances only from 11 July to 3 November 2018.
Any number of shows could have been included in this post; frankly it’s ludicrous that I decided to stick with my whole top 12 idea… As I’ve seen about 90 more individual shows than last year.
This year variety has been the thing (though I’ve still managed to stack up certain repeat attendances), so that means I’ve seen a serious amount of performers – some even two or three times!
Much of my ‘touring’ has been concentrated in Bristol and Chichester; there are a few other UK venues to add to the list, as well as some from my week in New York, of course.
The winners of the London Evening Standard Theatre Awards were announced tonight (Sunday 3 December 2017) at a ceremony at London’s Theatre Royal, Drury Lane: three of the nine awards went to the premiere of Jez Butterworth’s The Ferryman
It remains my favourite of Shakespeare’s plays (Much Ado leading as my favourite of his comedies) and I have avidly collected productions the way others might collect stamps.
Jez Butterworth’s The Ferryman, James Graham’s Ink and the National’s revival of Sondheim’s Follies dominate the shortlists for the 2017 Evening Standard Theatre Awards.
“Pray you, undo this button: thank you Sir” is probably not the most memorable line in the play although it’s a neat example of Shakespeare tucking his stage directions into the script as usual. Lear is at the very end of his life and physically weak. So he asks Kent and Edgar for a tiny bit of practical assistance.
King Lear is the jewel in the crown of Daniel Evans’ opening year as Chichester’s Artistic Director. Ian McKellen is every inch a king in Jonathan Munby’s production that is currently playing a short, sold-out season
As I wrote when the full cast was first announced, “the world is hardly crying for more productions of King Lear, but if you’re going to put it on, you might as well go balls out on some amazing casting”.
Ian McKellen immediately makes the intimate space his own, the dialogue almost conversational and his Lear a warm-hearted soul with a twinkle in his eye. This is surely as good as it gets, an actor using every bit of knowledge he has acquired in a storied career to make his role feel so natural.