In 1982, rising actor and recent Royal Shakespeare Company arrival Antony Sher played the Fool to Michael Gambon's King in the RSC's production of King Lear. Shortly after, he came back to Stratford to play Richard III -- a breakthrough performance that would transform his career, winning him the Laurence Olivier, Evening Standard and Critics' Circle Theatre Awards for Best Actor. Sher's record of the making of this historic theatrical event, Year of the King, has become a classic of theatre writing, a unique insight into the creation of a landmark Shakespearean performance.
More than thirty years later, Antony Sher returned to Lear, this time in the title role, for the 2016 RSC production directed by Gregory Doran. Sher's performance was acclaimed by the Telegraph as "a crowning achievement in a major career," and the show transferred from Stratford to London's Barbican. Once again, he kept a diary, capturing every step of his personal and creative journey to opening night.
Like his Year of the King and Year of the Fat Knight: The Falstaff Diaries before it, Year of the Mad King offers a fascinating perspective on the process of one of the greatest Shakespearean actors of his generation.