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Simon Russell Beale Leads KING LEAR - Full Cast Announced!

Sam Mendes directs Shakespeare's KING LEAR, opening in the Olivier Theatre on 23 January. Simon Russell Beale plays the title role; 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 will be 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.

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.

Simon Russell Beale's recent theatre work for the National includes Timon of Athens (Critics' Circle Award: Best Shakespearean Performance), Collaborators (Evening Standard Award: Best Actor), London Assurance, Major Barbara, Much Ado About Nothing, The Alchemist and The Life of Galileo; elsewhere, The Hothouse and Privates on Parade (West End), The Winter's Tale and The Cherry Orchard (New York and Old Vic); and Bluebird (New York). His films include My Week with Marilyn and The Deep Blue Sea; television includes Spooks, Falstaff in the BBC film of Henry IV, and presenting the series Sacred Music and Symphony.

Sam Mendes has previously directed The Sea, The Birthday Party, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice and Othello for the NT. For ten years he was Director of the Donmar Warehouse, where his productions included Uncle Vanya and Twelfth Night; in 2009 he founded the Bridge Project, a transatlantic classical theatre company, and directed The Winter's Tale, The Cherry Orchard, The Tempest, As You Like It and Richard III. His films include American Beauty (Academy Award for Best Director and Best Picture) and the BAFTA and Academy Award-winning Skyfall.

Press night: Thursday 23 January

Contact Mary Parker on 020 7452 3234 / mparker@nationaltheatre.org.uk



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