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Donmar's KING LEAR to Tour and Screen Worldwide

As The Prince of Homburg opens at the Donmar, Michael Grandage, the company's Artistic Director announces a major expansion to the run of his forthcoming production of King Lear, which will see the company tour nationally, and will be broadcast to over 22 countries worldwide in collaboration with National Theatre Live.

The production will embark on an eight week national tour following performances at the Donmar. This increases the company's UK touring programme which in previous years has visited three English venues and sees the Donmar engage with more regional venues than ever before throughout England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

As the Donmar expands its digital and broadcast output to create a platform to enable the public greater access to the company's work, it will screen King Lear on 3rd February 2011 as part of National Theatre Live. Responding to the constantly evolving and exciting changes within the theatre community, the Donmar is proud to partner with the National Theatre and give a potentially vast international audience an opportunity to engage with its work.

The Donmar continues its education work with the schools matinee programme and a project which rolls out nationwide to complement the company's touring work.

Artistic Director Michael Grandage said today, "This initiative is born of a desire to share our work with as many people as possible. I believe Derek Jacobi's King Lear will be an event that deserves to be seen beyond the Donmar Warehouse and I'm delighted we are expanding our UK touring programme, as well as going out live to over 300 cinemas worldwide. It means a Donmar production featuring one of our finest Shakespearean actors will be available to more people than we could ever hold in our Covent Garden home.

"I am proud to be teaming up with the National Theatre to broadcast King Lear and excited by the opportunities that it will present to us. It is important for us create long term partnerships and shared goals in the coming years and the announcement to expand our digital output demonstrates the Donmar's commitment to the changing times that lie ahead."

The Donmar Warehouse presents King Lear by William Shakespeare. Cast includes: Pippa Bennett-Warner, Ron Cook, Michael Hadley, Derek Jacobi, Paul Jesson, Gina McKee, Justine Mitchell. Director: Michael Grandage; Designer: Christopher Oram. Lighting Designer: Neil Austin; Composer and Sound Designer: Adam Cork. 3 December 2010 - 5 February 2011. Press night: Tuesday 7 December.

"Who is it that can tell me who I am?"

An ageing monarch. A kingdom divided. A child's love rejected. As Lear's world descends into chaos, all that he once believed is brought into question.

One of the greatest works in western literature, King Lear explores the very nature of human existence: love and duty, power and loss, good and evil.

Derek Jacobi and Michael Grandage renew their collaboration, having previously worked together on The Tempest, Don Carlos and Twelfth Night. Grandage's creative team - Christopher Oram, Neil Austin and Adam Cork are the Tony Award-winning team behind the company's recent Broadway smash hit Red.

Pippa Bennett-Warner makes her Donmar debut as Cordelia. Graduating from RADA this summer, her theatre credits include Crocodile (Riverside Studios and Sky Arts), Ruined (Almeida Theatre), Victory (Theatre Royal Bath), Caroline or Change (National Theatre) and The Lion King (Lyceum Theatre).

Ron Cook returns to the Donmar to play the Fool. He previously appeared in Hamlet (Donmar West End and Broadway), Twelfth Night (Donmar West End), Helpless, Juno and the Paycock and Glengarry Glen Ross. His many other theatre credits include The Seafarer, Howard Katz (National Theatre), Singer (Tricycle Theatre), Insignificance (Chichester Festival Theatre), Art (Wyndham's) and extensive work for the RSC. For television, his work includes Little Dorrit, PA's, The Diary of Anne Frank, Fantabulosa, Funland, He Knew He Was Right, The Other Boleyn Girl and The Lost Prince; and for film, Hot Fuzz, Confetti, Charlotte Gray, Chocolat, Quills, Topsy Turvy, Secrets and Lies, and The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover.

Michael Hadley returns to the Donmar, where he appeared in Piaf (also Vaudeville Theatre), Othello and The Vortex, to play the Earl of Kent. His other theatre credits include The Tempest (Oxford Stage Company), Heroes (Watermill Theatre), Coriolanus and The Canterbury Tales (RSC), The Seagull (Mercury Theatre Colchester), and Don Carlos (Sheffield Crucible and West End). His television credits include Churchill at War, Strange, Paradise Heights and Rough Justice; and for film, The Boat That Rocked, Unrelated, Three Blind Mice and An Unsuitable Job for a Woman.

Derek Jacobi returns to the Donmar to play King Lear. His work for the company includes his Olivier Award-winning performance as Malvolio in Michael Grandage's production of Twelfth Night (Donmar West End) and A Voyage Round My Father (also Wyndham's Theatre). Jacobi's other theatre work includes Don Carlos (Sheffield Crucible and Gieldgud Theatre), The Tempest (Sheffield Crucible and Old Vic) - both directed by Michael Grandage, and Hollow Crown (RSC). Jacobi is renowned for his role as Claudius in I Claudius. His recent television credits include Margot, Endgame, The Old Curiosity Shop, Pinochet in Suburbia, The Long Firm, Mr Ambassador, Inquisition, The Gathering Storm, The Jury and Frasier. For film, his work includes Nanny McPhee, Gosford Park and Gladiator.

Paul Jesson plays the Earl of Gloucester. He previously appeared in Mary Stuart (Donmar), Sam Mendes' production of Twelfth Night (also BAM) for the Donmar. His other recent theatre credits include Cock, The Seagull (Royal Court), The Bridge Project (Old Vic, BAM and worldwide tour), Awake and Sing (Almeida Theatre), Troilus and Cressida (RSC) and The Winter's Tale (Shakespeare's Globe). His television work includes The Amazing Mrs Pritchard, Slave Trader, Rome, Danielle Cable Eyewitness and The Glass; and for film, Coriolanus, Vera Drake and All or Nothing.

Gina McKee plays Goneril. She previously appeared at the Donmar in Ivanov (Donmar West End) and Old Times. Her other stage work includes The Lover & The Collection (Comedy Theatre), The Exonerated (Riverside Studios) and Aristocrats (National Theatre). For television her work includes The Silence, The Street, The Old Curiosity Shop, The Street, Aftermath, The Lost Prince, The Forsyte Saga, The Passion and Our Friends in the North (BAFTA Award for Best Actress & Broadcasting Press Guild Award); and for film, Dive, In the Loop, And When Did You Last See Your Father?, Atonement, The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, Wonderland, Notting Hill and The Croupier.

Justine Mitchell plays Regan. Her theatre work includes The White Guard, The Hour We Knew Nothing of Each Other, Philistines, Coram Boy (National Theatre), Uncle Vanya (Young Vic), Nocturnal, Hedda Gabler (The Gate), The Stone (Royal Court), Three Sisters (Abbey Theatre, Dublin) and Twelfth Night (RSC). For television, her credits include Your Bad Self, Sleep With Me and Afterlife; and for film, I Want Candy, A Cock and Bull Story, Imagine Me and You, Inside I'm Dancing and The Honeymooners.

Donmar Artistic Director Michael Grandage directs. Previous work for the Donmar includes Red (also Broadway - Tony and Drama Desk Awards for Best Director of a Play), The Chalk Garden (Evening Standard and Critics' Circle Awards for Best Director), Othello (Evening Standard Award for Best Director), John Gabriel Borkman, Don Juan in Soho, Frost/Nixon (also West End and Broadway), The Cut, The Wild Duck (Critics' Circle Award for Best Director), Guys and Dolls (Donmar in the West End - Olivier Award for Outstanding Musical Production), Grand Hotel (Evening Standard Award for Best Director, Olivier Award for Outstanding Musical Production), Henry IV, After Miss Julie, Caligula (Olivier Award for Best Director) and The Vortex. As part of the Donmar in the West End season Grandage directed Ivanov - Evening Standard and Critics' Circle Awards for Best Director, Twelfth Night, Madame de Sade and Hamlet (also Kronborg Castle and Broadway). Other West End work includes Evita. He was the Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres 1999 - 2005, where his many productions included Don Carlos (Evening Standard Award for Best Director).

Designed by Christopher Oram, with lighting by Neil Austin and the composer and sound designer is Adam Cork.

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