In an interview with the London Metro, Postelthwaite says the company went through several “hard knocks” putting the play together: “I lost a stone and a half in weight and there's not a great deal of me to start with” he says, before revealing they “weren't ready” when the show opened to largely poor reviews at the Liverpool Everyman in November.
The actor, who is tackling Lear for the first time, also admitted to a tense relationship with prolific director Goold, who counts the current West End revival of Oliver! amongst his recent credits: “Rupert and I had our differences … He had been incredibly busy that year with all sorts of productions whereas I'd just been concentrating on Lear for 18 months. There were times I thought, 'Rupert, you can't wing this, it's fucking Lear, man - and not only that, it's my Lear. It's my only chance!'”
It's not the first time Postlethwaite has spoken of the production's problems. Back in November, he revealed on BBC Radio Four that it was "overwhelmed" with ideas and was being revamped in the wake of its opening at the Everyman (See The Goss, 25 Nov 2008).
King Lear runs at the Young Vic from 29 January to 28 March.