Nearly Lear

Theatre (adaptation, solo show)

  • Accessibility:
    Wheelchair Accessible Toilets
    May not apply to all performances. You'll find more information about accessibile performances and how to book tickets in the accessibility tab below.
  • Babes in arms policy: Babies do not require a ticket
  • Policy applies to: Children under 18 months


What if the great and tragic story of King Lear were to be told through the eyes of his closest companion? In this award-winning, one-woman tour-de-force, Susanna Hamnett plays the Fool – and every other character – to tell a very personal story that is by turns poignant, mischievous, tragic, and hilarious. Exuberant and unexpected, Nearly Lear has toured widely and internationally to both critical and audience acclaim. 'More wit, mischief and sheer playfulness than you can legally pack into 80 minutes of live theatre!' (Press and Journal, Aberdeen). 'A virtuosic performer' (New York Times).

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General venue access

  • Wheelchair Accessible Toilets
  • Accessible entry: Up a ramp into the building then level access into the theatre.
  • Wheelchair access type: Not fully wheelchair accessible

  • Stairs: Information not supplied

Each venue can contain several space with different accessibly information. Visit the venue page for full venue accessibility info

How and when to make an access booking

Our access tickets service is available to anyone who:

  • Would like to book specific accessibility services, e.g. a hearing loop, audio description headsets, captioning units, seating in relation to the location of the BSL interpreter
  • Requires extra assistance when at a venue
  • Has specific seating requirements
  • Is a wheelchair user
  • Requires a complimentary personal assistant ticket to attend a performance

Charlotte Webb 27 days ago

Nearly Lear: One woman re-telling of King Lear through the eyes of the fool! ... Susanna Hamnett's 'Nearly Lear' had me at 'Hello' and it did not let me down. Consummately crafted and acted, Hamnett conjured up an entire cast of characters with a fearless relish last shown by Bottom in Shakespeare's 'Dream', (- though with considerably more skill -) including a comedic death scene to rival that of Pyramus that I couldn't help thinking Shakespeare himself would have been proud of. With wit, joyful playfulness and humour that never became indulgent or lost sight of it's way, this wise fool led us right to the heart of her story, beneath the broken Crown and torn Kingdom, flowery language and 'themes', to a personal story of love and loss we could all relate to, between a parent and their child. Thank you!

Amanda 35 days ago

Powerful! Masterfully acted, powerfully done. One of the best this fringe. 10/10!

Dave Cooper 37 days ago

Both hilarious and touching in equal measure, I cannot recommend this show highly enough. The most effective storm scene I have ever experienced. Well worth the standing ovation she received. Don't miss it.

David Murphy 37 days ago

I wouldn’t say King Lear was my favourite Shakespeare play and the last production I saw before this was a very serious one in London. Susanna Hamnett has changed all of that. Totally mesmerising from start to finish. This virtuoso performance deserves all the glowing reviews it has had. The real tragedy is that there are only two more opportunities to see it at this year’s Fringe. Buy some tickets and enjoy.

Richard Beales 38 days ago

This is a surprising, touching and brilliantly performed take on King Lear. Susanna Hamnett portrays all the characters distinctly and with humour and subtlety. If you think Lear is an inaccessible play, this angle on it may change your mind. Go and see it!

Oliver Kletz 39 days ago

Susanna Hamnett takes the story of Lear and reimagines it through the lens of an often forgotten character. The result is an intense, incredibly funny, deeply moving performance. Some creative license is taken with the plot and characters, but for an hour and twenty minute one-person production, it is remarkably comprehensive and explores all the main themes. My desire would have been to have the Fool - or Noreen - share some of her Elizabethan counterpart's cynicism, but Hamnett's characterisation gave us someone who was genuine, thoughtful, lonely, and kind through which to view the story. Five stars!!!

James Nicholas 39 days ago

Wow! Just saw this performance and was absolutely blown away. Extraordinary storytelling, sharp characterisations, effective staging and lovely touches of humour. Will appeal to fans of Shakespeare and those less familiar with King Lear. But above all a powerful and compelling performance from Susanna Hamnet. Just incredible!

DAN 39 days ago

Great performance this. Susanna Hamnett’s one person take on Lear is funny and moving in equal measure. She expertly holds you with her wonderful clowning and gentle audience interaction. Go see it!

Alan Caig Wilson 39 days ago

What a brilliant show. Rich and inventive, taking you on a totally unexpected tour of Shakespeare's play, lifting out the story and drawing in the characters, all through the quirky eyes of Lear's Fool Norris aka Noreen (who comes from somewhere between Edinburgh and Aberdeen by the sound of things!). Susanna Hamnet's energetic ability to tell stories is infectious and from the heart. Those of you who know Shakespeare will know the difficulty of doing the storm scenes - this show has one of the best I have ever experienced. Go along you will LOVE this show and it will set you up for the rest of your EdFest evening.

Chris Grady 41 days ago

Occasionally at the fringe you stumble upon a level of professionalism and consummate storytelling skill which takes a whole audience on a journey through the known and unknown. Susanna Hamnett is a wonderful fool and multiple role player. Through the eyes of her Fool we encounter King Lear at a length and depth which should delight both teacher and even reluctant students. 80 minutes of comedy and tragedy woven across time and space. Thank you. Special mention also to the soundscape and lighting which made Space45 feel the absolutely perfect place for the show. Grab a ticket if you can.

Joe Janes 42 days ago

Holy crap, this is brilliant!

Catherine S 42 days ago

A fantastically engaging and surprisingly funny retelling of King Lear. A must see if you're a fan of the show or Shakespeare at all, and worth the trip just to see Susanna's excellent control of the whole cast of characters and even the audience at times.

JM 43 days ago

This was a fun, creative solo retelling of King Lear. Susanna Hamnet is a joy to watch—very expressive and engaging. The play included nice staging, lighting, and sound effects. This was a real treat!

Patricia Glennie 44 days ago

Absolutely outstanding. Extraordinary performance combining intelligent interpretation of the play with comedy which engaged the whole audience. Children in the audience enjoyed it as much as the adults.

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FringeReview 34 days ago

This outstanding production seamlessly weaves poignant moments, mischievous charm, tragic depth, and hilarious wit into one strong narrative.

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West End Best Friend (4/5 stars) 36 days ago

Thoroughly entertaining

Read the full review (5/5 stars) 38 days ago

Written and performed with imaginative vision, this musical, tragicomedy gets to the emotional and moral heart of King Lear with literary insight, Shakespearian wit and quiet compassion.

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Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.

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Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.