Anthony Hopkins and Ian McKellen team for the first time with STARZ’s The Dresser
An an adaptation of Ronald Harwood’s acclaimed play, The Dresser is directed by Richard Eyre (Notes on a Scandal, Iris) and stars Anthony Hopkins and Ian McKellen, teaming for the first time. The story is set one fateful night in a small regional theatre during World War II as a troupe of touring actors stage a production of Shakespeare’s “King Lear.” Bombs are falling, sirens are wailing, the curtain is up in an hour but the actor/manager Sir who is playing Lear is nowhere to be seen. His dresser, Norman, must scramble to keep the production alive but will Sir turn up in time and if he does will he be able to perform that night?
Both Anthony Hopkins and Ian McKellen are well known for their own stage roles as Shakespeare’s great tormented king: Anthony Hopkins performed at The National Theatre under the direction of David Hare in 1986 and Ian McKellen headlined Trevor Nunn’s production for the RSC in 2007.
Rounding out the cast of The Dresser are Emily Watson (The Theory of Everything, War Horse) as “Her Ladyship” and Sarah Lancashire (“Happy Valley,” “Last Tango in Halifax”) as stage manager “Madge.” Also in the cast are Vanessa Kirby as “Irene,” Edward Fox as “Thornton,” Tom Brooke as “Oxenby/Edmond,” John Ashton as “Gloucester,” Ian Conningham as “Kent,” Annalisa Rossi as “Goneril,” Helen Bradbury as “Regan,” Carl Sanderson as “Cornwall,” Matthew Cottle as “Albany” and Martin Chamberlain as “Gentleman.”
The Dresser is produced by Colin Callender of Playground Entertainment with Sonia Friedman for Sonia Friedman Productions. Polly Hill, BBC Head of Independent Drama and Ben Stephenson, Controller BBC Drama Commissioning are executive producers.