Sam Mendes’ acclaimed National Theatre production of Shakespeare’s King Lear, with Simon Russell Beale in the title role, will screen as part of the current National Theatre Liveseason. The Shakespearean tragedy releases onto Cinema Nouveau’s digital screens in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town and at Ster-Kinekor Blue Route in Tokai, Cape Town, from Saturday, 14 June, for four screenings only.

Academy Award® winner Sam Mendes (James Bond: Skyfall, American Beauty) returns to the National Theatre to direct acclaimed actor Simon Russell Beale in the title role of Shakespeare’s searing tragedy. In King Lear, an aged king decides to divide his kingdom between his three daughters – Goneril, Regan and Cordelia – according to which of them is most eloquent in praising him. His favourite, Cordelia, says nothing. Lear’s world descends into chaos.

‘Witty, agile, lucid and deeply felt. A gripping production of a tragedy which is also an intensely painful psychological thriller.’ - Daily Telegraph

Simon Russell Beale’s recent theatre work for the National includesTimon of Athens (Critics’ Circle Award: Best Shakespearean Performance), Collaborators (Evening Standard Award: Best Actor), London Assurance, Major Barbara, Much Ado About Nothing,The Alchemist and The Life of Galileo; elsewhere, The Hothouse and Privates on Parade (West End), The Winter’s Tale and The Cherry Orchard (New York and Old Vic); and Bluebird (New York). His films include My Week with Marilyn and The Deep Blue Sea; television includes Spooks, Falstaff in the BBC film of Henry IV, and presenting the series Sacred Music and Symphony.

‘Genuinely gripping. Simon Russell Beale movingly captures Lear’s terrified intimations of madness.’ - Daily Telegraph

Sam Mendes has previously directed The Sea, The Birthday Party, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice and Othello for the National. For ten years he was Director of London’s Donmar Warehouse, where his productions included Uncle Vanya and Twelfth Night. In 2009 he founded the Bridge Project, a transatlantic classical theatre company, and directed The Winter’s Tale, The Cherry Orchard, The Tempest, As You Like It and Richard III.  His films include American Beauty (Academy Award for Best Director and Best Picture) and the BAFTA and Academy Award-winning Skyfall.

The cast also includes Stephen Boxer (as Gloucester), Cassie Bradley, Tom Brooke (Edgar), Richard Clothier, Jonathan Dryden Taylor, Kate Fleetwood (Goneril), Simon Manyonda, Anna Maxwell Martin (Regan), Daniel Millar, Michael Nardone, Gary Powell, Adrian Scarborough (Fool), Hannah Stokely, Stanley Townsend (Kent), Sam Troughton (Edmund), Olivia Vinall (Cordelia) and Ross Waiton.

King Lear releases on South African screens on Saturday, 14 June, for four screenings only – on 14, 18 and 19 June at 19:30 and on 15 June at 14:30 – at Cinema Nouveau theatres in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town, and at Ster-Kinekor Blue Route Mall in Tokai. Bookings are now open, and the running time of this production is 3hrs, 20mins (including a 20-minute interval).

National Theatre Live enables audiences to experience the best of British theatre throughout the year, as the NT brings cameras into the auditorium to broadcast performances live from stage to screen. Over 2.5 million people have experienced a National Theatre Live broadcast. National Theatre Live events are distributed outside the U.K. through New York-based BY Experience, the pioneer of global live “alternative content” digital cinema events.

 For booking information on King Lear, visit or, or call our Ticketline on 082 16789 or you can follow Cinema Nouveau us on Twitter @nouveaubuzz. 

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