King Lear, Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford, May 23 - June 9.
Antony Sher returns in the title role as artistic director Gregory Doran revives his acclaimed production of King Lear at the RSC in May - but the actor has a lot more in store for his Stratford fans this spring.
Sher is a talented artist, as well as a gifted writer and theatre legend, and for the first time the RSC is hosting an exhibition of his art, compiled over his 35 years as one of Britain's leading actors.
Opening on May 19, Mad King/Fat Knight features more than 40 large scale oil paintings, drawings and doodles, giving an insight into Sher's preparations for two of his most famous roles, Sir John Falstaff in Henry IV and King Lear. Work in the exhibition will be sold, with part of the proceeds going to the RSC's Stitch In Time campaign to restore and re-develop its world-renowned costume workshop.
Sher the writer also pops up in an In Conversation event at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre on June 7, talking about his new book, Year Of The Mad King: The Lear Diaries. A companion piece to his earlier book on Falstaff, The Year Of The Fat Knight, it's based on his experiences performing King Lear in Doran's original 2016 production. The event will be followed by a book signing.
The Stratford revival of King Lear, which follows a short run in New York in April, also brings back to the RSC stage two other members of the original cast, Warwickshire-based David Troughton and Antony Byrne. Troughton, who recently became an Honorary Associate Artist with the RSC, will also play Falstaff in The Merry Wives Of Windsor in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre next season.
Byrne, an RSC Associate Artist, is currently playing Antony in Antony And Cleopatra at the Barbican. Joining the company as Cordelia is Mimi Ndiweni, whose previous RSC credits include The Taming Of The Shrew, Wendy and Peter Pan and Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again.
For tickets call 01789 403493.
Pictured: Antony Sher in an earlier production of King Lear. Picture by Ellie Kurttz.