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Pigott-Smith and Brown reunite for Lear in Leeds

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One of Shakespeare's greatest tragedies and most complex plays will be staged at the West Yorkshire Playhouse this September.

Running from 23rd September until 22nd October, Ian Brown's production of King Lear will star Tim Pigott-Smith whom audiences may remember from his Olivier nominated performance in Enron at the Royal Court, London in 2009 and from BBC Two's The Hour

The show will reunite Brown and Pigott-Smith who worked together on Five Kinds of Silence at the Lyric Hammersmith in 2000.

Premiering on the vast Quarry stage, King Lear's message is both poignant and topical for 2011; exploring the issues of political power and familial love both bringing people together and tearing them apart.

Lear is aware that he is ageing, so decides to split his kingdom between his three daughters; with the caveat that whichever daughter proves she loves him the most will receive the  greatest share of the Kingdom's power and wealth. Cordelia, the youngest daughter and her Father's favourite, refuses to display such pseudo flattery which results in her disinheritance. With total power and control, the two older daughter's wreak havoc and ostracise their Father as a foolish old man. As the power and responsibility of Lear's reign is passed to his children, chaos ensues and the family is in turmoil.

Cordelia is played by Olivia Morgan. Recognisable from her roles in the BBC's Casualty and Doctors, the RADA trained actress stars alongside Neve McIntosh and Hedydd Dylan who play the older, devious sisters.

Brown, who is the Playhouse's Artistic Director, has a vast repertoire of Shakespeare plays; having also directed the theatre's critically acclaimed production of As You Like It in 2010, in addition to Macbeth in 2007, Twelfth Night in 2005, and Hamlet in 2002, with a pre-Doctor Who Christopher Eccleston.

He has also brought Leeds audiences many memorable past Playhouse offerings such as the Christmas extravaganzas The Secret Garden, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and Alice in Wonderland, in addition to the critically acclaimed political drama How Many Miles to Basra?

Tickets for King Lear can be purchased by calling the West Yorkshire Playhouse on 0113 2137700 or by visiting www.wyp.org.uk

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