Trevor Nunn production 2007

Photo by Manuel Harlan shows King Lear (Ian McKellan) © RSC

The audience around the thrust stage of Trevor Nunn's Ruritania-inspired production could expect to get rained on during this loud and stormy production.

Ian McKellen balanced Lear's contradictions, playing Lear as a kind father, violent master and vulnerable old man, and he infamously appeared naked during Lear's madness.

The action took place against a tumble-down theatre auditorium with rich velvet drapes matching the ornate scarlet military uniforms of the players.

In a twist on the text, the Fool (Sylvester McCoy) was hanged on-stage.

This production was filmed at Pinewood Studios in 2008, broadcast by the BBC and is available on DVD.

Read more about this production in the following articles:

Reviews roundup: King Lear
Chris Wiegand, Guardian, 1 June 2007

Review: Sir Ian acts up a storm as Nunn plays the fool
Charles Spencer, Daily Telegraph, 1 June 2007

Review: King Lear
Michael Billington, Guardian, 1 June 2007

Review Round-up: Critics hail McKellen's King Lear
Tom Atkins, The Stage, 30 November 2007

Article: So Ian McKellen drops his trousers...
Germaine Green, Guardian, 7 May 2007


Photo by Manuel Harlan shows King Lear (Ian McKellan) © RSC

Contact us & FAQs

Ticket Hotline

0844 800 1110
Mon-Sat, 10am-6pm

Email newsletter

Sign up to email updates for the latest RSC news:

RSC Members

Already an RSC Member or Supporter? Sign in here.