Award winning actor Don Warrington, currently to be seen in BBC’s hugely successful series Death in Paradise, has been announced to take the role of Lear in a Royal Exchange Theatre and Talawa Theatre Company co-production of King Lear.

Don Warrington has had a long standing relationship with Talawa Theatre Company and commented on the role “The truth is it never occurred to me to play Lear until Sarah Frankcom (Artistic Director of The Royal Exchange Theatre) suggested it. I had just been working with Michael on All My Sons at the Royal Exchange, an invigorating experience in that space. Michael and I spent some time discussing Lear, and it felt exciting to have the opportunity to tackle something equally challenging. At the time it seemed crazy to say no, now…I wonder if I’m just crazy.”

Michael Buffong, Artistic Director of Talawa Theatre Company said, “We are always seeking to push ourselves as artists, always trying to go beyond what is expected, King Lear represents a huge and exciting challenge as a director. Lear is an epic story of extremes in which families fight, tear each other apart and are pitted against the elements. It takes us back to an old world that’s searching for answers to questions about our very existence. Don Warrington has been a big part of Talawa’s story and to take this journey with an actor of such subtlety and power is an exciting prospect and one that I look forward to beginning.”

This powerful reading of KING LEAR is presented as part of the celebrations for Talawa’s 30th anniversary year, and 400 years after the death of Shakespeare. Talawa Theatre Company is the UK’s primary Black-led theatre company. Led by Artistic Director Michael Buffong, Talawa’s work is informed by the wealth and diversity of the Black British experience. For 30 years Talawa has created outstanding work by cultivating the best in emerging and established Black artists, investing in talent, developing audiences and inspiring dialogue with and within communities across the UK and internationally to enrich the cultural life of all.

The production of King Lear by the Royal Exchange Theatre and Talawa Theatre Company, follows their acclaimed co-production of All My Sons in 2013.  Michael Buffong is set to direct the production which will move from the Royal Exchange Theatre to Birmingham Repertory Theatre.  Buffong’s credits include Six Degrees of Separation, All The Ordinary Angels, Privates Lives and award winning A Raisin In The Sun at the Royal Exchange Theatre.

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