Former Doctor Who actor Christopher Eccleston will play Oswald alongside a star-studded cast in King Lear.

The BBC has confirmed a co-production between itself and Amazon Studios of William Shakespeare’s ‘King Lear’. Filming will commence this month, with an air date in 2018, and features an incredible cast.

King Lear

Sir Anthony Hopkins will play the title role of King Lear with Emma Thompson as his daughter Goneril. Eccleston has signed on to play Oswald, Goneril’s right-hand man and duplicitous servant. Jim Broadbent (Game of Thrones, Harry Potter) will appear as the Duke of Gloucester and his sons, Edgar and Edmund, will be played by Andrew Scott (Sherlock, Spectre) and┬áJohn Macmillan (Chewing Gum, Fury) respectively. Rounding out the cast is Emily Watson (Angela’s Ashes, Kingsman: The Golden Circle) as Regan and Florence Pugh (Lady MacBeth) as Cordelia.

Richard Eyre

Richard Eyre takes on the director role for this production, a man who’s no stranger to TV Shakespeare. In 2012, Eyre directed two installments of ‘The Hollow Crown’ adapting both parts of ‘Henry IV’ starring Tom Hiddleston. Controller of BBC Drama and former Doctor Who executive producer Piers Wenger, said: “Richard Eyre has assembled an unmissable cast to embody his vision for a timeless but deeply resonant screen adaptation of King Lear.”


Coincidently, Big Finish Productions – who produce licensed Doctor Who audio stories – are due to release their own ‘King Lear’ adaptation later this month. David Warner plays Lear alongside a healthy number of Who alum. Trevor Cooper will play Oswald in the Big Finish version. Cooper appeared in 1985’s ‘Revelation of the Daleks’ as Takis. We’ll have a review of Big Finish’s efforts available very soon.

What other Shakespeare plays should the BBC be adapting? What do you think of this cast for King Lear? Let us know in the comments.


  1. I’d like to see them take a crack at the Roman ones. The BBC Radio production of Antony and Cleopatra with Kenneth Branagh and Alex Jenkins is one of my all-time favourites.


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