Prolific Shakespearean actor and recent King Lear Michael Pennington to take part in Literary Leicester

Posted by ew205 at Nov 09, 2017 11:51 AM |
Actor and writer Michael Pennington will perform a reading from his latest book ‘King Lear in Brooklyn’ on 16 November

At Literary Leicester, aspiring actors and Shakespeare enthusiasts alike will have the unique opportunity to hear Michael Pennington - a stage actor with more than fifty years of experience - discuss his latest book King Lear in Brooklyn.

Eminent stage actor, writer and director Michael Pennington will be delivering a talk and Q&A at the University of Leicester’s Literary Leicester festival on 16 November.

Renowned for his performance as King Lear in New York in 2014, Michael recently reprised the role for a major UK tour in 2016. Michael has played many leading roles for the RSC, of which he is an Honorary Associate Artist. His eminent stage career runs alongside a variety of screen roles, which have included commander of the second Death Star in Return of the Jedi and Michael Foot in The Iron Lady.

Together with director Michael Bogdanov, Michael founded the English Shakespeare Company in 1986. His considerable experience with Shakespeare’s works extends beyond acting - having directed Twelfth Night in the UK, Tokyo and Chicago and The Hamlet Project for the National Theatre Bucharest.

For this event, which will run from 7.45-8-45 pm in the University of Leicester’s Peter Williams Lecture Theatre, Michael will share his experiences of playing King Lear and touring the play, also reading from his book and hosting a Q & A.

The book, which is part memoir, part analysis and part adventure story, recounts the circumstances and his experience of the New York production - bringing the venerated play into the present day by providing contemporary voices to explain characters’ reactions, strategies, struggles and setbacks.

King Lear in Brooklyn will be available to purchase at the event, and Michael will sign books at the end of his talk.

Michael Pennington’s other writings include Users’ Guides to Hamlet, Twelfth Night and A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Sweet William: Twenty Thousand Hours with Shakespeare.

Professor Martin Stannard, Literary Leicester’s Director, said: “This is a great opportunity for anyone interested in the craft of acting generally, and in Shakespeare in particular. Michael is a distinguished member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and a celebrated film and TV actor. As it happens, he will be following in the programme another eminent Shakespeare scholar, Jonathan Bate. A good evening all round for bardolaters!”

Free tickets for Literary Leicester can be booked via Eventbrite here:

For further information about events please visit


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