Shakespeare in the open air

Joseph Marcell, pictured in Shakespeare's Globe production of Much Ado About Nothing.

Joseph Marcell, pictured in Shakespeare's Globe production of Much Ado About Nothing.

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Enjoy a taste of Shakespeare al fresco style with open-air performances of King Lear at Buxton’s Pavilion Gardens.

Prestigious touring theatre company Shakespeare’s Globe will present two performances of William Shakespeare’s greatest tragedy next month, complete with an Elizabethan-style stage.

With its tempestuous poetry, shot through with touches of humour and moments of heart-rending simplicity, King Lear is one of the deepest artistic explorations of the human condition.

Old King Lear, weary of royal duties, proposes to break up his kingdom and divide it among his three daughters. But this rash generosity is cruelly repaid and Lear discovers too late the false values by which he has lived –and the suffering common to all humanity.

Joseph Marcell, who became famous for playing the Oxford-educated butler Geoffrey in the American comedy The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air will perform the part of King Lear.

Marcell describes Lear as “the culmination of an actor’s career bringing respect, brainstorms and stress”, but he is no stranger to Shakespeare, having played a number of important roles in the plays, including Othello and Brutus.

King Lear will be performed in the Pavilion Gardens on Saturday June 29 and Sunday June 30 at 6pm.

Patrons are asked to take along their own low-backed seats or rugs.

In the event of inclement weather, the show will either proceed – conditions allowing – outdoors, or will be moved to an alternative indoor venue, if one can be arranged.

Tickets, priced £17 for adults and £12 for children, are available on 0845 127 2190 or online at