First look at Anthony Hopkins as King Lear in new BBC2 images

Anthony Hopkins stars as King Lear, with Emma Thompson and Emily Watson as his conniving daughters

(BBC/RT)

King Lear, Shakespeare’s magnificent, elemental tragedy of almost unbearable power, is coming soon to BBC2, with Anthony Hopkins taking the title role and Andrew Scott playing Edgar.

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Directed by Richard Eyre, it condenses the tragedy, first performed in 1606, into two hours of mesmerising drama set in the present.

Supporting Hopkins is a stellar line-up, with Jim Broadbent brilliant as the kindly Gloucester whose treacherous bastard son Edmund (John Macmillan) joins forces with Lear’s wicked and damaged daughters Goneril (Emma Thompson) and Regan (Emily Watson) to control the kingdom.

(BBC/RT)
Emma Thompson as Goneril and Emily Watson as Regan, rehearsing a scene with Richard Eyre (BBC/RT)

It’s a play many people (including Eyre) regard as the summit of Shakespeare’s writing achievement — and perhaps the greatest work of drama ever written.

(BBC/RT)
Anthony Hopkins on set in the new BBC adaptation (BBC/RT)
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The Silence of the Lambs actor previously graced the small screen as Dr Robert Ford in Westworld, alongside Evan Rachel Wood, Ed Harris and Thandie Newton.

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