"tormenting and triumphant"
-London Theatre-

"McKellen is spellbinding"
-The Telegraph-

"a central performance of magnificent control"

Sorry, King Lear closed on 03 Nov 2018

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About the show

Ian McKellen returns as King Lear in Jonathan Munby’s critically-acclaimed production of Shakespeare’s tragedy. After a sensational, sold-out season at Chichester Festival Theatre, the contemporary adaptation plays in the West End for a strictly limited 100 performances, at the Duke of York’s Theatre.

King Lear is one of the Bard’s best-known plays, following the tender but brutal tale of two fathers who reject those who truly love them, in favour of their dangerously ambitious children. As their loyal children are cast out on the street, treachery becomes rife. A violent power struggle ensues, with fatal consequences.

Theatre legend Ian McKellen returns to the stage in the title role, with his most recent West End appearance being No Man’s Land at Wyndham’s Theatre. With an illustrious career under his belt, McKellen is well-known for films including the X-Men series, Lord of the Rings, The Dresser and Mr Holmes.

His return to the Duke of York’s Theatre marks his anniversary of his West End debut, which saw him premiere at the venue with the 1964 production of A Scent of Flowers. Further theatre credits include Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello, Richard II and Richard III, amongst many more.

Further casting includes Kirsty Bushell as Regan, Sinéad Cusack as Kent, Michael Matus as Oswald and Danny Webb as Gloucester, as well as Richard Clews, John Hastings, Jake Mann and Caleb Roberts, who all reprise their roles from the original Chichester run. New cast members include James Corrigan as Edmund, Anthony Howell as Albany, Lloyd Hutchinson as Fool, Claire Price as Goneril, Daniel Rabin as Cornwall, Luke Thompson as Edgar and Anita-Joy Uwajeh, as well as James Millard, Johanne Murdock, Jessica Murrain, Scott Sparrow and John Vernon.

Jonathan Munby directs King Lear, with credits including the upcoming new production of Bryony Lavery’s Frozen at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. Creative team includes designer Paul Wills, with lighting by Oliver Fenwick, music and sound design by Ben and Max Ringham, movement by Lucy Cullingford and fight direction by Kate Water.

Playing a strictly limited season at the London venue, King Lear is the startling, harrowing and epic tragedy. Don’t miss out on your chance to see a theatre legend, with performances running from July 26th to November 3rd 2018, with previews beginning July 11th 2018.

Who Should See It?

Ian McKellen fans should take the opportunity to see him starring as one of Shakespeare’s legendary characters, whilst any theatre fan should not miss out on this event.

King Lear is not suitable for children.

Playing at

Duke of York's Theatre
St Martin's Lane
Seating Plan

Duke of York's Theatre seating plan

Booking period

11th Jul 2018

20th Feb 2020

3rd Nov 2018

Running time

3 hours 20 minutes (including an interval)


Not suitable for children