Tickets for King Lear, Antony and Cleopatra, and King John go on sale this Friday. These three events kick off a massive initiative by the Stratford Festival, North America’s leading classical theatre company, to capture all of Shakespeare’s plays over the next 10 years, beginning with the production of King Lear, screening on Thursday, February 19. As the Toronto Star wrote, King Lear “unquestionably catapults Colm Feore into the ranks of the world’s greatest living actors.” And that`s just the beginning.
In Canada, tickets to all three HD productions will be available through Cineplex Entertainment’s Front Row Centre Events, which specializes in bringing world-class events and performances to the big screen. These screenings will be followed by a broadcast window on CBC-TV, and then digital and on-demand release will follow.
Charles Isherwood, writing in The New York Times said this of King Lear: “The play’s final scenes are as harrowing as any I’ve seen.” The play is all about a kingdom divided, a family destroyed, the faithful banished and the hateful left to wreak inhuman havoc in the realm. Four hundred years after it was written, King Lear resonates as never before. This magnificent Stratford Festival production of Shakespeare’s great masterpiece, filmed in spectacular HD, will screen across Canada on Thursday, February 19 and in the U.S. on February 25. International distribution will follow. This production by North America’s leading classical theatre company stars the incomparable Colm Feore in the role of a lifetime, directed by the Stratford Festival’s acclaimed Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino.
Tom McCamus and Seana McKenna star in King John, which will screen in Canada on April 9 and in the US on April 8. Robert Cushman, writing in the National Post said, “Tom McCamus plays King John, rivetingly, as a neurotic narcissist. It’s a daring performance.” Chris Jones of the Chicago Tribune wrote, “This sublime King John has a remarkable intimacy, crystallized by the formidable actor Graham Abbey, whose relationship with the audience becomes one of the closest I’ve ever seen in a Shakespearean drama.”
And then Geraint Wyn Davies and Yanna McIntosh star in Antony and Cleopatra on May 21st. “Geraint Wyn Davies offers us an Antony of boundless charm and eternal optimism,” wrote Richard Ouzounian in the Toronto Star
All of the HD performances were produced by Melbar Entertainment Group and Barry Avrich in association with the Stratford Festival, Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino, and Executive Producers Barry Avrich, Anita Gaffney and Michael Levine. King Lear was directed for film by Joan Tosoni. The HD taping of Antony and Cleopatra, and King John were directed by Barry Avrich.
For more information, dates and a trailer visit the Stratford Festival HD online.