Annenberg Center Live Opens Fall Season with KING LEAR National Tour, 9/24-27

Annenberg Center Live Opens Fall Season with KING LEAR National Tour, 9/24-27

Annenberg Center Live kicks off its fall season with the U.S. tour of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre Company's King Lear. Direct from London, Shakespeare's Globe Theatre presents a faithful restaging of King Lear that's filled with tempestuous poetry, touches of humor and moments of heart-rending simplicity. This production of what is considered Shakespeare's greatest tragedy features stage and screen actor Joseph Marcell, known for his role as Geoffrey in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. The show runs September 24-27 at the Annenberg Center at 3680 Walnut Street. Tickets cost $20-$65 and are available online at, at the Box Office, or by phone at 215.898.3900.

This production of King Lear is a fresh and new exploration of this Shakespearean masterpiece. Old King Lear proposes to give up his crown and divide his kingdom between his three daughters - but finds his rash generosity cruelly repaid. He discovers too late the falsity of the values by which he has lived, and is ultimately plunged into despair and madness. This classic work explores the human condition in all its extremes and complexity.

Using an Elizabethan style booth stage inspired by paintings and etchings from Shakespeare's time, when touring was prevalent, a company of eight actors are touring the U.S. with this scaled-down production. The actors will play multiple roles in this fast-paced adaptation that breaks the boundaries between the stage and the audience. The play will not use an all-male cast or early modern design as recently seen on Broadway, however the delivery of the verse and the interaction with the audience will derive from a traditional Globe approach.

Leading the small troupe of traveling players who are breathing new life into Shakespeare's great tragedy is Joseph Marcell as King Lear. Marcell is probably best known for his role as Geoffrey in the massive television hit, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. He has previously performed at the Globe in Much Ado About Nothing (2011) and Coriolanus (2006). The rest of the cast includes: Gwendolen Chatfield as Goneril/Curan, Bethan Cullinane as Cordelia/Fool, Alex Mugnaioni as Edgar/Duke of Cornwall/Duke of Burgundy, Bill Nash as Earl of Kent, Daniel Pirrie as Edmund/Oswald/King of France, Shanaya Rafaat as Regan and John Stahl as Duke of Gloucester/ Duke of Albany/Doctor.

Director Bill Buckhurst is well-known at Shakespeare's Globe, where he previously directed Hamlet with Dominic Dromgoole and played Antipholus in The Comedy of Errors. In Globe Education's annual Playing Shakespeare with Deutsche Bank series, he has played Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing (2007 and 2008) and has directed Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth and A Midsummer Night's Dream. The production is designed by Jonathan Fensom and the original music is composed by Alex Silverman.

King Lear Performance Schedule
Wednesday, September 24, 7:30 PM
Thursday, September 25, 7:30 PM
Friday, September 26, 2 PM
Friday, September 26, 8 PM
Saturday, September 27, 2 PM
Saturday, September 27, 8 PM

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