Theatre Event

King Lear

The Crescent Theatre Company presents

King Lear

by William Shakespeare

8 - 15 Nov in the Main House at 7.30pm | Matinees: Sunday 9 & Saturday 15 November 2.30pm

Anticipated running time: 3 hours, 30 minutes
Please note this is an estimated running time and may be subject to change

There will be an After Dark discussion following the 19:30 performance on Fri, 14th Nov. Free to ticket holders.

Foolish King divides his kingdom between his two false and flattering daughters and exiles his true and faithful child, only to end up, powerless, penniless and mad.

Anticipated Running Time: 3 hours 30 minutes

Tickets: £15 | £14 Concessions | Sunday Matinee only: £8

Check out the preview piece here courtesy of

Audience Reactions

"In the words of my 3 children (age 9 & 12), "it was awesome, gross & interesting." As always, it has been a easier [sic] to visit the Crescent & see another great production. Looking forward to our next visit. Well done to all involved. The children were fascinated by the blood & gore of King Lear. They were most relieved to see Gloucester with his eyes at the end!" Anon

"King Lear was phenomenal, a real clear decent into madness. The dynamic between the Goneril and Regan was very enjoyable also. The gentleman in the kilt and the fool were also very good and confident with a difficult text. Stylistically the ensemble had some lovely moments" Anon

"I really enjoyed the crescent production of king Lear, it was totally engaging with absolutely wonderful performances given all round. Congrats to all."

"A great piece of work! Skilfully directed and performed. Brutality in scenes like Gloucester's torture and beauty in the delivery of dialogue and honesty with moments like Lear's anguish at Cordelia's death and the pain Edgar felt at his brother's betrayal. Very deserved well done to all!"

"Excellent! My first time seeing what I would call a proper Shakespeare production. Struggled with some of the Shakespearian English but really, really enjoyed it and want to go and see it again. Particularly enjoyed the Fool's performance. Also Lear's and Kent's. A mention also for the Fools 'assistants' who were great with their interpretive movements even when not in the main action."

"Whilst it is a long play, it certainly didn't seem so. The pace continued from start to finish and I was gripped by the story, which was delivered by a talented cast and director. A very enjoyable afternoon". HD

"I was gripped from beginning to end. Superb direction,outstanding performances. A company that cannot be faulted." SJ

"This was such an impressive performance. Each scene fitted together perfectly without a hint of ambiguity, and even to a non Shakespeare expert the play was engaging and entertaining, which is credit to the director, as well as the actors' brilliant display of emotions and rapport with each other. I loved it, and I can't wait for another performance especially if these actors are in it! The actor playing Edgar was amazing, he had such great energy! Regan brought an enthralling sense of tension to the performance and I also loved the connection between her and Goneril. Gloucester was great to watch, as was King Lear. Edgar's crazy scenes have to be the best though!" Anon

"First class production: great ensemble cast, sustained pace, well thought-through interpretation where all movement and stage business contributed to the power of the play. Rather than single out particular actors or scenes I'd prefer to praise the vision of the whole.I was left feeling i'd been shown new areas of a well known play that I'd never seen before. I didn't want to single out particular things for reasons given above. but just to give some examples. The subtlety of the fool's playing and the staging with the two foolettes as a mute commentary. The collapse of the flats at the storm scene. The way expected scenes would play slightly differently that gave a sense of fresh interpretation. The way even the relatively minor characters were so well individuated: e.g. the distinctions between Goneril & Regan and Cornwall & Albany. The mix of humour with the realistic enactment of horrific violence." P.C.

"Fantastic production, acting was second to none and I thought it was brilliant - how do actors remember so many lines? My father is a huge Shakespeare fan but we have limited financial resources and cannot always afford to go to the professional productions, but your shows are as good as any I have seen elsewhere - as good as the RSC Hamlet last year. Excellent value for money, and parking reduction a welcome bonus. I thought the actors playing Lear and Tom were superb - our first visit was to see History Boys last year (another brilliant production) and we intend to come every month. We also saw Lord of the Flies, and I cried a lot at the end. Why aren't some of these directors and actors working professionally?" C.B.

"What a fantastic production. I cannot believe that we spent 3 ½ hours watching fantastic acting. Once the play begins, you are drawn into the story and find it very clever how the scene changes with different lighting effects. The stage scenery appeared simple but does have a few surprises by falling down in the storm and parts of it opening up as a sort of door way from outside. The concept is very cleaver. The acting from all the players is very convincing. If I had to pick three people out for a special mention, I would pick a)King Lear for great acting and who must have spent weeks learning such a long set of dialogs b)Edgar who looked at all times he was putting 120% of effort into the character and really brought that person to life. I bet at the end of the evening he must have had his batteries drained by all the physical acting he did. c) The fool (who was hidden under the table at the start) once started in the action gave a lovely performance of the fool who loved the king and was most enjoyable to watch. I found the final scene very moving with one person starting with the dialog and the rest of the cast joining in with soft music in the background slowing getting louder and taking over from the last words spoken. It was a very poignant moment and is appropriate for this week as we also remember the loss of live during war conflicts. Well done to all involved in such a fantastic production. Its well worth the price, and entertainment value - 10 out of 10." Anon

"A superb production of a long difficult play. Performances never flagged. Casting totally in tune. Some really fine touches with no need for elaborate sets. Edgar, Kent, Edmund, The Fool and Oswald stand out but all the actors deserve commendation. We travelled from South Staffs and were privileged to enjoy a first class performance without travelling to London to pay inflated prices. Well done The Crescent - great value for money."


Karen Leadbetter


King Lear - Alan K. Marshall
Goneril - Sarah Jane McCarffrey
Regan - Naomi Jacobs
Cordelia - Hannah Kelly
Albany - Colin Simmonds
Cornwall - Gregory Leadbetter
Gloucester - Andrew Cowie
Edgar - Peter M. Smith
Edmund - Oliver Davis
Fool - Caroline Farmer
Kent - Brendan Stanley
Oswald - Jack Robertson
Burgundy - Nick Tuck
France - John Guelke
Foolios - Tamsen Oatey & Andrea Stephenson
Doctor - Kate Owen
Old Man - Brian Wilson
Curan - Gemma Aston


Gemma Aston
Harry Clarke
John Guelke
Lara Johnson
Gwill Milton
Tamsen Oatey
Kate owen
Joe Palmer
Andrea Stephenson
Nick Tuck
Brian Wilson


Set Design - Keith Harris
Production Assistants - Jackie Blackwood & Carolyn Bourne
Costume - Pat Brown & Vera Dean
Lighting - Peter Laver
Sound - Adrian Hooper, Ray Duddin & David Griffiths
Properties - Madeleine Bigland, Nicky Franks & Nicholas Shelton
Set Construction & Painting - Keith Harris, Phillip Parsons, Ray Duddin, Nick Shelton, Sam Malley, Dillon Franklin & Sue Harper
Stage Manager - Graham Comley
Fight Choreographer - Tom Jordan
Drill Advisor - Alan Bull

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