‘King Lear: The Film’ to be screened for free in cinemas across the UK





The award nominated, epic stage-to-screen production, King Lear The Film, today announces a host of free screenings at cinemas across the country (14 Oct to 2 Nov), plus a television broadcast on BBC 4 later this year.

Coming to cinemas during Black History Month, King Lear: The Film, starring Don Warrington (Death in Paradise, Rising Damp) is the film of Michael Buffong’s (A Raisin in the Sun, Moon on a Rainbow Shawl, All My Sons) highly acclaimed theatre production of King Lear, this Royal Exchange Theatre and Talawa Theatre Company co-production was captured during its run in Manchester.

The original ‘intelligent and theatrical’ stage production played to sell out crowds during its run, winning 4 and 5 star reviews across the board and was described by the Guardian as ‘as close to definitive as can be’. The film has been nominated for the 2016 RTS North Award for Best Multi-Platform Production, and was hugely popular when previously available on demand via bbc.co.uk/shakespearelives for three months, and the BBC iPlayer.

King Learis a brutal portrait of a man unraveling – pitted against his daughters, against nature and against the universe itself. In an ancient Britain bound by loyalty to the clan and the power of the sword, King Lear decides to give up his crown. As he divides the kingdom between his daughters, family ties disintegrate, order disappears and the land slides into chaos.

Award-winning actor Don Warrington has been highly praised for his brutal and powerful portrayal of King Lear, which resonates particularly as the UK’s awareness of the impact of Dementia on family bonds and decision-making grows. The film has already seen support from Dementia UK, Alzheimer’s Society and Lewy Body Society.

Meanwhile the casting of King Lear’s family as black reminds us that the presence and influence of black people is potentially un-documented in our ancient history. The casting also addresses the debate about the lack of availability of roles for black actors in the UK. 

The recording brings the audience even closer to the family feuds, elemental attacks and epic battles of King Lear, and serves to extend the audience of an already dynamic and widely attended production. Supporting Don Warrington are Alfred Enoch as Edgar (How To Get Away With Murder, Harry Potter), Miltos Yerolemou (Game of Thrones, Star Wars, The Danish Girl) as the Fool and Philip Whitchurch (Waking the Dead, Billy Elliot, Dark Road) as the Earl of Gloucester.

The outstanding cast also includes Fraser AyresRakie AyolaRhys BevanNorman BowmanThomas CoombesSam GlenWil JohnsonDebbie KorleyPepter LunkuseMiles MitchellMark Springer and Sarah Quist.

King Lear: The Film was recently screened twice at the internationally acclaimed Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival in the presence of Don Warrington who attended as a guest of the British Council.

The British Council and the GREAT Britain campaign have supported the making of the film of this staged production of King Lear as part of Shakespeare Lives, a year-long cultural and educational programme to celebrate 400 years since Shakespeare’s death in 2016. This support enabled the film to be premiered online in a new collaboration with the BBC and made available to international audiences. The aim was to support the UK’s creative industries and showcase the diversity and best of UK talent.

King Lear: The Film is funded by digital commissioning body The Space with the aim of bringing the impressive production to a wider and more diverse digital and cinema audiences. It’s supported by the British Council as part of their major Shakespeare Lives programme, with the aim of showcasing the best of British contemporary arts to an international audience.  

The film is also due to be broadcast later this year on BBC 4.

The full list of upcoming screenings and registration is as follows:

City Hall London – 14th October, 5pm

Liverpool Showcase Cinema – 19th October, 12pm

Winnerish Showcase Cinema, Reading – 19th October, 12pm

Birstall Showcase Cinema, Leeds – 19th October, 12pm

Bristol Avon Meads Showcase Cinema – 19th October, 12pm

Walsall Showcase Cinema, 19th October, 12pm

Goldsmiths Curzon London 19th, 5pm

Keele University 19th October 6 45pm

Derby Quad Cinema – 21st October, 12pm

Birmingham MAC Cinema – 21st October, 12pm

Home, Manchester 26th October 26th  12 30pm

Nottingham Broadway cinema 2nd November 12 pm

Warwick Arts Centre. University of Warwick, Coventry  24th November 10 am

The City Hall screening is supported by the Mayor of London, as part of the GLA’s activity around Black History month and the screening at Home Manchester will also include and exhibition about Diversity in Shakespeare, a panel discussion with some of the film’s cast and networking event.

For tickets visit: http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/a-talawa-theatre-royal-exchange-theatre-saffron-cherry-tv-co-production-11446866065

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