The production runs as part of the World Shakespeare Festival, which is being produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company for London 2012, the culmination of the cultural Olympiad.
Lear's daughters will be played by Jenny Jules (Regan), who starred in Ruined at the Almeida in 2010, Phoebe Fox (Cordelia), whose credits include As You Like It at the Kingston Rose and A Month in the Country at Chichester, and Zoe Waites (Goneril), who was previously at the Almeida in Thea Sharrock’s production of Mrs Klein.
The cast will also feature: Kieran Bew (Reasons to be Pretty, The Knot of the Heart) as Edmund, Michael Byrne (Molly Sweeney, Coronation Street) as the Fool, Steven Elliott (Pentecost, Frankenstein) as Oswald, Ian Gelder (His Dark Materials) as Kent, Richard Goulding (Posh) as Edgar, Richard Hope (When the Rain Stops Falling) as Albany, Barry McCarthy (A Roung-Heeled Woman) as Lear's Loyal Servant, Chook Sibtain (Romeo and Juliet) as Cornwall, Clive Wood (Filumena, Flare Path) as Gloucester and Alix Wilton Regan (In Parallel) as Gloucester's Loyal Servant.
When Lear asks each of his daughters to profess their love for him, he is flattered by the false hyperbole of Regan and Goneril. When his youngest daughter Cordelia confesses to love him simply as a daughter should, his pride is dented and he casts her out of his kingdom. Too late to realise his mistake, and forced from power by his offspring, an increasingly impotent and frail Lear descends into madness.
Tony and Olivier award-winner Jonathan Pryce made his Almeida debut playing Martin in Edward Albee’s The Goat or, Who is Sylvia? His theatre credits includes The Caretaker for Liverpool Everyman and Bath Theatre Royal, Glengarry Glen Ross at the Apollo Theatre, A Reckoning for Soho Theatre and My Fair Lady at the National Theatre and the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. His film and television work includes Cranford, Hysteria, Pirates of the Caribbean, Unconditional Love, and Carrington.
This year Michael Attenborough celebrates ten years as artistic director of the Almeida. His productions in that time have included The Mercy Seat, Five Gold Rings, Brighton Rock, The Late Henry Moss, Enemies, There Came A Gypsy Riding, Big White Fog, Awake and Sing!, The Homecoming, In a Dark Dark House, When the Rain Stops Falling, Measure for Measure, Through A Glass Darkly, The Knot of the Heart, Reasons To Be Pretty and, most recently, Filumena.