King Lear

King Lear

The incomparable Glenda Jackson triumphantly returned to the New York stage in the 2017-2018 Broadway season, after an almost thirty-year absence, to star in the Broadway premiere of Edward Albee’s 1994 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Three Tall Women. Her tour-de-force performance resulted in her winning her first-ever Tony Award, although she had previously earned Tony nominations for each of her previous four Broadway outings. Experiencing this British stage and screen veteran once again treading the New York boards was viewed as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity by many and few expected to be in the position to relive that opportunity in consecutive seasons. However, to the delight and surprise of those same theatre aficionados, a Broadway return for Ms. Jackson was announced at the end of June 2018 and she would be taking on the title role in William Shakespeare’s epic tragedy King Lear in an all-new Broadway production, courtesy of Scott Rudin.

Of course, Ms. Jackson made headlines over the pond when she was first cast as Lear for the critically acclaimed Old Vic production in 2016, marking her first return to the stage following her retirement from British politics (after almost 23 years in office) in 2015. Mark Shenton, lead critic of our London Theatre Guide sister site wrote of her performance: “She's phenomenal: not just merely in terms of endurance and memory, but in the forceful way she owns the stage.”

Indeed, the critical response was unanimous and she went on to receive her fourth Olivier Award nomination in 2017 for her efforts.

For this new Broadway production, Ms. Jackson is joined by a stellar cast of stage veterans and screen favorites with the likes of Golden Globe winner and Tony Award nominee Ruth Wilson playing Cordelia, Tony Award winner Jayne Houdyshell as the Earl of Gloucester, and Tony Award nominee John Douglas Thompson as the Earl of Kent to name just a few. And under the steady hand of Tony Award-winning director Sam Gold, this revival could well be one for the ages.

“When we are born, we cry that we are come to this great stage of fools.” – King Lear.

The New York Theatre Guide encourages you to visit this great stage of players, with a crowning performance by Tony and two-time Academy Award winner Glenda Jackson as performances come to an end at the Cort Theatre on June 9, 2019.

(Photos by Brigitte Lacombe)

This show has now closed. See our list of theatre tickets for shows currently on sale.

Running time: 
3hrs 30mins (including 1 intermission)
15 images
About King Lear:

Written during a period of great social upheaval, Shakespeare’s brutal masterpiece is arguably the greatest tragedy ever written. The fatal consequences of a foolish decision are explored in haunting poetry to create one of the most moving works in the English language.

William Shakespeare
Scott Rudin
Sam Gold
Jane Cox
Scott Lehrer
Miriam Buether
Ann Roth
Cast list:
Glenda Jackson (as King Lear), Jayne Houdyshell (as Earl of Gloucester), Elizabeth Marvel (as Goneril), Aisling O’Sullivan (as Regan), Pedro Pascal (as Edmund), John Douglas Thompson (as Earl of Kent), Ruth Wilson (as Cordelia/Fool), Sean Carvajal (as Edgar), Dion Johnstone (as Duke of Albany), Russell Harvard (as Duke of Cornwall), and Matthew Maher (as Oswald)
Other info:
Original Score by Philip Glass
King Lear Performance Dates & Times
Previews from: 
February 28, 2019
Opening date: 
April 4, 2019
June 9, 2019

Performance schedules for all shows are subject to change.

Cort Theatre

138 West 48th Street (between Broadway and 6th Avenue), New York, NY 10036
Nearest subway station:
49th Street station

Latest King Lear News & Features

Glenda Jackson in King Lear
Early closure notice posted for Glenda Jackson-led King Lear on Broadway
June 1, 2019

Producer Scott Rudin has now posted an early closure notice for the current Broadway revival of William Shakespeare's King Lear. The production will play its final performance at the Cort Theatre on June 9, 2019, and upon closing, it will have played a total of 34 previews and 76 regular performances. King Lear began its Broadway run on February 28, 2019, officially opening on April 4.

Glenda Jackson in King Lear
A New York Theatre Guide to... King Lear!
May 7, 2019

Arguably William Shakespeare’s greatest tragedy, King Lear celebrates its twentieth staging on the Great White Way this season with this gender-blind revival at the Cort Theatre. Under the direction of Tony Award winner Sam Gold, previews began on February 28, 2019, before an official opening on April 4 and a limited engagement currently scheduled to run through to July 7, 2019.   John Douglas Thompson & Glenda Jackson in King Lear What’s it all about?

Our King Lear Review

Sam Gold’s production of King Lear, currently playing at Broadway's Cort Theatre with Glenda Jackson gender-bending the title role, is not for Shakespeare neophytes. It’s barely for those well versed in the Bard’s verse without a bit of head scratching. Mr. Gold has enjoyed recent success with well received Off-Broadway productions of Othello and Hamlet in his quest to stage all of Shakespeare... Read more