John McEnery takes tortured King Lear to Rose Playhouse

John McEnery as King Lear for Rose  Playhouse

One of the great Shakespearean actors of modern times, BAFTA Award nominee John McEnery is set to bring the Bard’s tortured royal father, King Lear, to the stage of London’s historic Rose Playhouse this April.

Directed by Benjamin Blyth we see Shakespeare at his darkest, transforming an ancient folk tale into one of the most gruesome and harrowing tragedies ever written. As families divide, order descends into chaos and the state slides into war.

The drama, being produced by The Malachite Theatre Company, premiered earlier this year at the Peckham Asylum but it now comes to a performance space older than the play itself.

The aged King Lear has had a long and peaceful reign, but he has no living male heir. In dividing the kingdom among his three daughters Lear sets the stage for his own destruction, as Ancient Britain is ripped apart by its rulers.

McEnery has starred in a number of the 20th century’s landmark productions. From his Bafta-nomination as Mercutio in Franco Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet, to Laurence Olivier’s Othello and Mark Rylance’s Richard II, his long and distinguished career has led him to this performance of Shakespeare’s most evocative and challenging role in a spellbinding new site-specific experience, at the historic site of the Rose Playhouse, Bankside.

The Rose Playhouse, Bankside’s first theatre, was established in 1587 and has since become an indoor archaeological site. As such audiences are advised to dress with an extra layer as there is no heating (there are also no toilets so you have to pop to The Globe just a few hundred metres away).

Cast: Claire Dyson, Orla Jackson, Emma Kirrage, Brian Merry, Ludovic Hughes, William De Coverly, David Knight, Simon Chappell, Martin Prest, Samuel Clifford, Edmund Sage-Green, Anatole Gadsby. Musician, Claire Monique-Martin.

King Lear will run from April 7-30 at the Rose Playhouse, Park Street.

Have a look at the production with a trailer from its Peckham performance:-

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