Great Stage on Screen Presents: King Lear with Ian McKellen
Theatrical Premiere of the Award-winning King Lear by the Royal Shakespeare Company
The triumphant production captures a tour de force performance by Ian McKellen in the title role. The film also features Frances Barber, Romola Garai and Monica Dolan.
The play is among Shakespeare’s greatest, a tragedy about an old king who thinks he can buy the affection of his daughters, only to find that this is far from the case, with terrible consequences. Goneril and Regan conspire against him, Cordelia goes to France, and Lear is eventually driven mad by a combination of his own folly and the ‘monster ingratitude’ of his daughters. He loses his wits in a storm raging on a heath, but is eventually rescued by Cordelia, only to find that his other daughters have ordered Cordelia and Lear both to be killed. In the event Goneril poisons her other sister and commits suicide, and Cordelia is murdered – but Lear kills the assassin before himself dying of grief.
This production was reviewed as the greatest version of the play for a generation, and has yet to be equaled in its powerful acting, masterful stage directing, and sympathetic capture on film.