Based on Shakespeare's play: King Lear of Britain has decided to divide his kingdom into three parts, and to hand over the responsibilities of ruling to his three daughters. The two oldest daughters, Goneril and Regan, flatter their father insincerely, and are rewarded. Cordelia, the youngest, sincerely loves her father, but she cannot match her sisters' skill at false adulation - so Lear takes away her portion of the kingdom, despite the pleadings of some of his most loyal nobles. It is not long before Goneril and Regan reveal their deep ingratitude, and soon the old king finds himself in a confusing and desperate position.
Did You Know?
This adaptation of William Shakespeare
's play cuts out the subplot involving Edmund, Edgar and their father, the Earl of Gloucester. Edmund's character is merged into that of Oswald (David J. Stewart
). Tom o' Bedlam (Micheál MacLiammóir
) appears, but we never learn, as in the original play, that "Tom" is only a guise for Edgar. Key scenes involving Gloucester (Frederick Worlock
), including his blinding, are retained, but only as they directly relate to the main plot. No mention is made of his having sons. See more
Orson Welles reverses the wording of one line in Act IV, Scene vii. Instead of "You have some cause, they have not," Welles says, "They have some cause, you have not," which completely reverses the meaning of the line. See more
Version of Performance: King Lear