Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

National Theatre Live Broadcasts Sam Mendes-Helmed KING LEAR with Simon Russell Beale in Cinemas Today

Two-time Olivier Award winner Simon Russell Beale's performance in the title role of William Shakespeare's KING LEAR, directed by Academy Award winner Sam Mendes, will be seen by cinema audiences worldwide when NATIONAL THEATRE LIVE broadcasts the production live from the National's Olivier Theatre today, May 1, 2014, with varying dates internationally and encore screenings to follow.

KING LEAR began previews on January 14, 2014 and officially opened on January 23, 2014. In addition to Simon Russell Beale, the cast also includes Stephen Boxer (as Gloucester), Cassie Bradley, Tom Brooke (Edgar),Richard Clothier, Jonathan Dryden Taylor, Kate Fleetwood (Goneril), Simon Manyonda, Anna Maxwell Martin(Regan), Daniel Millar, Michael Nardone, Gary Powell, Adrian Scarborough (Fool), Hannah Stokely, Stanley Townsend (Kent), Sam Troughton (Edmund), Olivia Vinall (Cordelia) and Ross Waiton. The production is designed by Anthony Ward, with lighting by Paul Pyant, video design by Jon Driscoll, fight direction by Terry King and sound design by Paul Arditti.

In KING LEAR, an aged king decides to divide his kingdom between his three daughters, according to which of them is most eloquent in praising him. His favourite, Cordelia, says nothing. Lear's world descends into chaos.

National Theatre Live is an initiative by the National Theatre to broadcast live performances onto cinema screens around the world. Since its first season, which began in June 2009 with the acclaimed production of Phédre starringHelen Mirren, over 2 million people have now experienced the work of National Theatre Live in cinemas worldwide. In addition to the recent record-breaking broadcast of The Audience starring Helen Mirren as The Queen (winner of two 2013 Olivier Awards, including the Best Actress award for Mirren), recent broadcasts have included the theatrical adaptation of Mark Haddon's award-winning novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (winner of seven 2013 Olivier Awards, including Master Card Best New Play); Steven Beresford's acclaimed new comedy The Last of the Haussmans; a new production of Shakespeare's Timon of Athens starring Simon Russell Beale in the title role; Arthur Wing Pinero's The Magistrate starring John Lithgow in the title role; Alan Bennett's new comedyPeople with Frances de la Tour; and James Graham's acclaimed new play This House.

Encore screenings are now ongoing for some for the National Theatre Live's most acclaimed recent productions including Live From The National Theatre: 50 Years On Stage; Macbeth with Kenneth Branagh; Othello with Adrian Lester and Rory Kinnear; Hamlet with Rory Kinnear; Frankenstein by Nick Dear, based on the novel by Mary Shelley, with Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller; and The Habit of Art by Alan Bennett with Alex Jennings and the late Richard Griffiths. Encore dates and cinema locations are added frequently. For listings and to learn more and purchase tickets, visit

Photo by Walter McBride

Related Articles

Featured on Stage Door

Shoutouts, Classes & More

More Hot Stories For You