King Lear (1998) Part of the 1990s BBC's Anthology Series "Performance"


King Lear, old and tired, divides his kingdom among his daughters, giving great importance to their protestations of love for him. When Cordelia, youngest and most honest, refuses to idly flatter the old man in return for favor, he banishes her and turns for support to his remaining daughters. But Goneril and Regan have no love for him and instead plot to take all his power from him. In a parallel, Lear’s loyal courtier Gloucester favors his illegitimate son Edmund after being told lies about his faithful son Edgar. Madness and tragedy befall both ill-starred fathers.

Director: Richard Eyre.
Writer: Richard Eyre (adaptation), William Shakespeare (play).
Stars: Ian Holm, Paul Rhys, Finbar Lynch, Timothy West, David Burke, Barbara Flynn, Amanda Redman, Victoria Hamilton, David Lyon, Michael Simkins, Martin Chamberlain, Adrian Irvine, Nicholas R. Bailey, William Osborne, Michael Bryant, Harry Jones, James E. Kerr, Paul Benzing.




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  1. December 25, 2020

    This was the first Lear I ever saw, when it was originally broadcast.

    September 17, 2021

    I came across this ‘by accident’ when it was first shown here in the States on the local PBS television stations. I emphasize ‘by accident’ because this superlative production arrived and exited without much fanfare, and as a result it isn’t much remembered or even known. Thanks for helping to remedy that wrong Jon by posting this. I’ve always loved Ian Holm’s work but never in a month of Sundays did I ever see him as Lear. Boy, did he and does he prove the near-sighted nature of my projection! Amanda Redman is a stunner here too.

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