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Ian McKellen plays the lead in the National Theatre Live production of William Shakespeare’s King Lear, which will open the spring season for ECU SCREENS on Friday, Jan. 18, at 6:30 p.m. in the Raymond J. Estep Multimedia Center of the Bill S. Cole University Center.

General admission tickets are $10. Student tickets are $5.  ECU students receive free admission, sponsored by ECU SCREENS.

Considered by many to be the greatest tragedy ever written, King Lear spotlights two aging fathers – one a King, one his courtier –who reject the children who truly love them. Their blindness unleashes a tornado of pitiless ambition and treachery, as family and state are plunged into a violent power struggle with bitter ends.

This fast-paced, five-star production has been praised as “nuanced and powerful” by The Times and “smart, lucid, superbly detailed” by The Guardian.  The Evening Standard celebrates “Ian McKellen’s detailed, intelligent performance” in particular as “a triumph.”

The runtime is three hours and 47 minutes and includes a 20-minute interval. All audience members will receive free ice cream during the interval.

This production may not be suitable for small children as it contains violent scenes and gunshots.

The spring season for ECU SCREENS will continue on Friday, Feb. 1 with ECU’s Ninth Annual Foreign Film Festival, featuring free foreign films from Denmark, Russia, and Mexico. After each screening, audience members are given door prizes in the form of books, DVDs, food and works of art associated with the culture of the films featured in the festival.

 The kick-off of the Foreign Film Festival on Feb. 1 will also include a special event titled “Ask Me About the World,” where participants can broaden their global understanding by having a conversation with individuals from around the world about their home countries. “Ask Me About the World” will take place from 3 p.m.-4 p.m. in the lobby of the University Center.

On March 29, ECU SCREENS will present NT Live’s Julie, Polly Stenham’s new version of August Strindberg’s classic drama Miss Julie, which remains shocking and fiercely relevant in its new setting of contemporary London.

On April 26, the spring season will conclude with NT Live’s Allelujah!, a sharp and hilarious new play by Alan Bennett about a small town hospital that is threatened with closure as part of an efficiency drive.

NT Live is the National Theatre's groundbreaking project to broadcast the best of British theatre to cinemas around the world.

To learn more about ECU SCREENS, like the ECU SCREENS Facebook page. For more information about the Royal National Theatre in Great Britain and other NT Live screenings, visit Dr. Rebecca Nicholson-Weir, co-director of ECU SCREENS, may be contacted at (580) 559-5929 or


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