McKellen played the role last October when the production ran at the Chichester Festival Theatre, and received a number of four and five star reviews in the national press. In the Guardian, Michael Billington described McKellen’s performance as “superbly detailed… a permanent close-up of a soul in torment”.
McKellen is a titan of the British acting scene, possibly best known for his work with the RSC and National Theatre, as well as screen roles including Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, Magneto in the X-Men film series. He was last seen on stage in London in No Man’s Land at the Wyndham’s Theatre alongside Patrick Stewart.
The actor toured the world in 2007 playing Lear for the RSC in a production directed by Trevor Nunn. In the lead-up to the Chichester production, he said this King Lear was his “last big Shakespeare part”.
The Chichester production also starred Sinead Cusack and Phil Daniels, but the cast joining McKellen has yet been confirmed.
King Lear Tickets are on sale now.
Photo credit Manuel Harlan