King Lear (Nunn, 2008) DVD
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Directed by Trevor Nunn
Produced in 2008
Main Language - English
Countries & Regions - British Film
The plot is, of course, familiar. Old King Lear splits his kingdom between two of his three daughters Regan, Goneril and Cordelia. He soon regrets the decision, however, as the familial strife escalates into the sort of chaos Jacobean audiences expected in return for their hard-earned pennies, with fools, bastards, blindness, treachery, tragedy and blasted heaths. Lear is arguably the greatest part the Sweet Swan of Avon ever wrote, the pinnacle of an actorís career. So when the actor playing him is one of the most accomplished Shakespeareans of the age, itís not unreasonable to expect something pretty special. And so it proves: Ian McKellen is magical. This is a recording of the recent RSC production made for the benefit of those who couldnít get a ticket during its oversubscribed run. McKellenís performance is spellbinding, proving (as if we needed it) how much more there is to him than Gandalf. It canít match the electricity of seeing him rage live on the stage but as next-best-things go, itís hard to beat.
James Oliver on 1st October 2008
Author of 149 reviews
Trevor Nunn's acclaimed 2007 theatrical production of Shakespeare's tragedy starring Ian McKellen as the titular monarch. Proposing to divide his vast kingdom amongst his three daughters, Goneril (Frances Barber), Regan (Monica Dolan) and Cornelia (Romola Garai), Lear devises a test for his offspring to convince him of their suitability and compassion for rule. As the scheme unfolds, Goneril and Regan's true colours emerge, uncovering a vast conspiracy of greed and cruelty within the once loyal dynasty. When Lear is tricked into making a devastating error, events spiral into madness and malice, bringing the realm to its knees...
Length: 175 mins
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1 widescreen
Format: DVD Colour
Released: 6th October 2008
Cat No: MTD5423
- Interview with Ian McKellen.