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