National Theatre Live Series at the MAC features Ian McKellen's 'King Lear'

Submitted by Ann Fink
Updated 11/5/2018 10:18 PM
  • The National Theatre stage comes to the MAC big screen with Ian McKellen taking the role of Shakespeare's "King Lear" on Thursday, Nov. 8, and Sunday, Nov. 11.

    The National Theatre stage comes to the MAC big screen with Ian McKellen taking the role of Shakespeare's "King Lear" on Thursday, Nov. 8, and Sunday, Nov. 11. Courtesy of Andy Gotts/National Theatre Live

National Theatre Live broadcasts have returned to the McAninch Arts Center in Glen Ellyn as part of the MAC's 2018-2019 season.

The season kicked off in October with "Julie," a contemporary adaptation of August Strindberg's masterpiece, "Miss Julie."

Shakespeare's "King Lear" will be shown at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 11.

Ian McKellen stars in this contemporary retelling of Shakespeare's tender, violent, moving and shocking play, considered by many to be the greatest tragedy ever written. Two aging fathers -- one a King, one his courtier -- reject the children who truly love them. Their blindness unleashes a tornado of pitiless ambition and treachery, as family and state are plunged into a violent power struggle with bitter ends.

This season, broadcast screenings take place in the MAC's Belushi Performance Hall on the campus of College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd. in Glen Ellyn.

• "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time," based on the acclaimed novel by Mark Haddon, adapted by Simon Stephens, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16. Fifteen-year-old Christopher struggles to find truth as he investigates the mysterious death of his neighbor's dog in a world that does not always understand the way his mind works. Marianne Elliot ("Angels in America," "War Horse") directs this Tony Award-winning production.

• "The Madness of George III" by Alan Bennett at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 14, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 17. It is 1786 and King George III is the most powerful man in the world. But his behavior is becoming increasingly erratic as he succumbs to fits of lunacy. With the King's mind unraveling at a dramatic pace, ambitious politicians and the scheming Prince of Wales threaten to undermine the power of the Crown, and expose the fine line between a King and a man. This award-winning drama by one of Britain's best-loved playwrights features an extraordinary cast led by Mark Gatiss ("Dr. Who," "Game of Thrones," "Sherlock") and Adrian Scarborough ("Gavin and Stacey," "Upstairs Downstairs," "After the Dance").

Tickets for all National Theatre Live broadcasts are $24. Seating is general admission. For tickets or more information, visit or call (630) 942-4000.

London's National Theatre (aka Royal National Theatre) is one of the U.K.'s most prominent publicly funded performing arts venues, alongside the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal Opera House.

National Theatre Live launched in June 2009 with a broadcast of "Phèdre" starring Helen Mirren.

Since then, National Theatre Live has broadcast more than 40 other productions from both the National Theatre and other theaters in the U.K. Each broadcast is filmed in front of a live theater audience and broadcast live via satellite to cinemas throughout the U.K., as well as many European venues.

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