Kenneth Branagh To Direct And Star In King Lear

Published Thu, 4 May 2023

Kenneth Branagh will direct and star in King Lear at London Wyndham’s Theatre later this year.

The performances will run from 21 October to December 9, with an official opening on 31 October.

Branagh will play the title role for 50 performances at the Wyndham's Theatre, and will then star in King Lear in New York in 2024.

In a 2019 interview, Branagh commented:

“I think King Lear touches on very pertinent things. First of all, a sense of contained outrage, by previously voiceless people..”

Branagh worked as a director, actor, writer and producer across theatre, film and television. He won the Olivier Award in 1982, and has been nominated five more times in different categories, receiving the special Society of London Theatre Award in 2017.

He regularly stars in Shakespeare plays, with latest credits including Macbeth (Manchester International Festival), and The Winter's Tale (Garrick Theatre).

King Lear will be the first London production from the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company in the last seven years, with Fiery Angel and The Shed co-producing the play.

The company's West End season at the Garrick Theatre included plays like Harlequinade/All on Her Own, The Winter’s Tale, The Painkiller, Red Velvet, Romeo & Juliet, and The Entertainer.

After London performances, King Lear will transfer to The Shed’s Griffin Theater in New York later in 2024.

Branagh recently played Boris Johnson in This England, a drama about the pandemic, and as Hercule Poirot in a film adaptation of Death on the Nile. Next, he will be starring in Christopher Nolan’s film, Oppenheimer, and is directing and lead acting again as Poirot in the upcoming film A Haunting in Venice, a reimagining of Agatha Christie’s Hallowe’en Party.

Complete casting and creative team will be announced at a later date.