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28 February

King Lear Masterclass

Our next Masterclass will be exploring the complex landscape of King Lear on February 28th at 5.30pm-8.30pm.

The play can be seen as the culmination of a series of four, spiralling downwards through Othello, Hamlet and Macbeth before finally arriving at the heart of the storm in King Lear. The double image of Gloucester and King Lear’s respective journeys through the play fuses two great Shakespearean dramatic structures into one over-arching tragic machine that threatens to destroy everyone in its path. We will explore the deep mythological undercurrents that pull at the three sisters, Goneril, Regan and Cordelia; and the two brothers, Edgar and Edmund; and drag them all into the heart of the tempest.

We hope you will join us for three hours exploring this, Shakespeare most complete tragedy.


Iris Theatre’s Masterclasses return each year for a Winter/Spring season exploring Shakespeare’s greatest plays. Throughout the series of Masterclasses we will work through the whole of the Shakespearean Tragic cycle taking a different play each class as our subject. From Othello and Hamlet, through Macbeth and King Lear, and onwards to Timon of Athens and Corriolanus, then finally finishing with Antony and Cleopatra. Whilst delving deep into the text of each play we will also look for patterns and cross-correlations between these great masterworks of European drama.

As always the emphasis will be on practical exploration rather than academic analysis – Iris Theatre’s work is centered on a dynamic, whole body approach to classical texts. We will look at themes and imagery across each play as a whole, as well dissecting the text of some famous lines. Though not obligatory, participants will also be encouraged to bring speeches from each play to work on.

Every participant will gain a deeper understanding and a greater degree of ownership of verse drama. These classes will be a unique opportunity to increase your confidence and broaden the range of your classical repertoire. The Masterclasses are open to actors of all backgrounds.


Workshop Leader – Dr Daniel Winder

Daniel has seven years’ experience of directing Shakespeare and verse drama, both here in the UK and Europe. His productions have been celebrated for their clarity, energy and passion. Of his work, RSC producer Thelma Holt CBE has said ‘He treats the Bard as if he is in the Green Room, waiting to give notes.  It shows and I admire it.’