As predicted the first half of 2016 has been, as the saying goes, Lear-inflected: ten touring dates, eight shows (usually) a week, so putting that together with the Brooklyn Lear of 2014, I’ve now done about 150 performances of the part, which pleases me a lot. I hope some of you may have seen it: it certainly was a joy to do, and kept reminding me of the old ESC touring days.

Like a sort of travelling salesman I went with my new book KING LEAR IN BROOKLYN metaphorically under my arm, since sure enough that was published near the start of the tour, and is so to speak still running, as I’m doing quite a few literary festivals, signing and also doing a sort of hour-long mini show of readings from it; also a BBC2 film which managed to feature a huge number of Lears past and present - and there have been five this year to my knowledge - not to mention lots of interviews, all in a half hour film. Rather remarkable piece of documentary work by Artsnight I thought and good ratings.

So the second half of the year I’ve been having a sort of Post-Traumatic-Not-Very-Stressful Lear-Disorder, or in other words, a fit of bone idleness. I did an episode of Endeavour (the ITV prequel to Inspector Morse), with old friends (Roger Allam) and making new ones (Shaun Evans) directed by Ken Loach’s son Jim who definitely has more than a touch of the master in him. I’ve been teaching In Romania too, as I think Mary has reported.

And that’s about it for the moment. No plans, though they do have a way of rearing up suddenly. Thanks for reading this, and thanks for your interest this year as ever. Happy 2017 – with perhaps a few less shocks in the world than 2016!

1st December 2016

The Home Page has a new update from Michael and if you managed to miss the BBC2 Artsnight programme mentioned below, and which is no longer available on iPlayer you can purchase it from the BBC Store for the princely sum of £1.89!

3rd November 2016

The ArtsNight programme televised last week on BBC2 entitled 2016:The Year of King Lear featured Michael’s recent production.

He will also be appearing at the Folkestone Arts Festival on the 27th November in an evening entitled Michael Pennington: Playing Lear. The phone number for tickets is 01303 760750.

July/December 2016

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