Sam Mendes’ acclaimed National Theatre production of Shakespeare’s KING LEAR with Simon Russell Beale in the title role, will be broadcast to Theatr Mwldan from the National’s Olivier Theatre on 1 May at 6.45pm and an Encore will be shown on Tuesday 13 May also at 6.45pm.

An aged king decides to divide his kingdom between his three daughters, according to which of them is most eloquent in praising him. His favourite, Cordelia, says nothing.

Simon Russell Beale’s recent theatre work for the National includes Timon of Athens (Critics’ Circle Award: Best Shakespearean Performance), Collaborators (Evening Standard Award: Best Actor), London Assurance, Major Barbara, Much Ado About Nothing, The Alchemist and The Life of Galileo; elsewhere, The Hothouse and Privates on Parade (West End), The Winter’s Tale and The Cherry Orchard (New York and Old Vic); and Bluebird (New York). His films include My Week with Marilyn and The Deep Blue Sea; television includes Spooks, Falstaff in the BBC film of Henry IV, and presenting the series Sacred Music and Symphony.

Sam Mendes has previously directed The Sea, The Birthday Party, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice and Othello for the NT. For ten years he was Director of the Donmar Warehouse, where his productions included Uncle Vanya and Twelfth Night; in 2009 he founded the Bridge Project, a transatlantic classical theatre company, and directed The Winter's Tale, The Cherry Orchard, The Tempest, As You Like It and Richard III. His films include American Beauty (Academy Award for Best Director and Best Picture) and the BAFTA and Academy Award-winning Skyfall.

The cast also includes Stephen Boxer (as Gloucester), Cassie Bradley, Tom Brooke (Edgar), Richard Clothier, Jonathan Dryden Taylor, Kate Fleetwood (Goneril), Simon Manyonda, Anna Maxwell Martin (Regan), Daniel Millar, Michael Nardone, Gary Powell, Adrian Scarborough (Fool), Hannah Stokely, Stanley Townsend (Kent), Sam Troughton (Edmund), Olivia Vinall (Cordelia) and Ross Waiton.

Tickets for the National Theatre Live screenings of King Lear are priced £12.50 full price (£11.50 concessions) and are available now from Theatr Mwldan’s Box Office on 01239 621200, on-line at or via smartphones.