One of the most famous and greatest of the British actors, Sir Ian McKellen, will head back to the West End. From July 11th, McKellen will lead a 16-week run of King Lear at the Duke of York Theatre. This follows the play’s successful run at the Chichester Festival Theater.
On the February 8th, Sir Ian announced the show on his Instagram.
King Lear again: for 100 performances at the Duke of York’s Theatre in London where I made my West End debut in 1964. It’s a small theatre but we shall make it even more intimate by removing half the stalls seats, so everyone is closer to the actors. There will be 100 tickets for each show under £30 each. If you are between 16-25 you can sit on the front or back rows for £5. First performance is 11th July. Get booking today! https://www.kinglearwestend.com/
It’s widely known that Sir Ian is a fan of performing in small theatres to foster a relationship between the actors and the audience. He already seems sure that King Lear will be a special experience for both sides of the stage. It’s definitely a return home for McKellen as he made his theatre debut at the Duke of York’s in 1964.
Sir Ian is very familiar with the role of King Lear. Aside from his recent performances, he first played the role over a decade ago in a television film. Sir Ian said that playing King Lear has helped him face death. For the most recent performance, the play is arranged in a way that McKellen will have a 45-minutes break in the performance.
If you’re wondering what the actor does in that time, then he revealed it in a recent interview with The Telegraph. He is going to be catnapping to keep emotional balance. Sir Ian said the break was for his emotional health during the demanding performance of the titular role, which he describes as “exhausting”.
King Lear will run at the Duke of York’s Theatre from July 11th.
Tickets for the run have been on sale since last week, which you can get here.