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This great stage of fools: A sneak peek at King Lear

  Take an exclusive first look at Kathryn Hunter as the despot ruler, Lear, as part of our upcoming Summer 2022 season

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No other family drama explores the excesses of power or the need for compassion like Shakespeare’s tragic masterpiece, King Lear.

After its explosive debut that made history 24 years ago at the Leicester Haymarket and the Young Vic in 1997, internationally renowned Director Helena Kaut-Howson and award-winning Actor Kathryn Hunter reunite once more to re-stage Shakespeare’s brutal tragedy as part of our upcoming Summer 2022 season in the Globe Theatre.

Take an exclusive first look at Kathryn as the despot ruler, Lear, who upsets the natural order by relinquishing his power before his death, causing cracks to form between his three daughters and a war to erupt that will threaten the lives of all.

An actor wearing a wreath crown of branches and leaves looks up, their face cast in shadow.

Kathryn Hunter as King Lear. Photographer: Kate Bones

Kathryn was the first English-speaking woman to take on the titular role in King Lear in 1997, and is known for tackling the great Shakespearean male roles, including Richard III in our all-female production in 2003 and as Timon of Athens for the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2018. You’ll also see her on the big-screen in January 2022, playing all three witches as ‘thrilling, crow-like contortionists with voices that stir, disinter and reverberate’ (The Guardian) in Joel Coen’s new film of Macbeth alongside Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand.

An actor with a red crown and wearing a golden ermine cloak reaches to kiss the hand of another woman wearing black traditional Elizabethan dress.

Kathryn Hunter as Richard III in our all-female production. Photographer: Donald Cooper

Kathryn Hunter as the witch in the Tragedy of Macbeth. A black and white image shows an actor with their head covered in a black robe squinting into the camera, their lips dry and chapped.

Kathryn Hunter in The Tragedy of Macbeth. Photograph: Apple

King Lear will be staged as part of our Summer 2022 season in the Globe Theatre, and will ask crucial questions about humanity at a point of crisis.  On the production, Director Helena Kaut-Howson said: “It touches everybody because it confronts us with the trauma that lurks behind the breaking of basic bonds, the bonds of family, as well as our bond with nature; it explores the blinding effects of power, and leads us through the seemingly senseless universe to arrive at the need for compassion.”

The international team retelling this story for today also includes Movement Director Marcello Magni, Designer Pawel Dobrzycki and Composer Boleslaw Rawski.

Our full Summer 2022 season announcement will follow in the New Year, but in the meantime, to guarantee your tickets to King Lear next summer, be sure to sign up as a Member for Priority Booking, as well as access to exclusive events and discounts.