Web Production
by Strange Duck Media


2024 Best Show Award – Bitesize Festival, Riverside Studios, London

2023 Edinburgh Festival Fringe Outstanding Production and Offie Nominated Show

2012 International Performing Arts for Youth  (IPAY) Victor Award for Outstanding Production

 ‘A magical, world-class theatrical experience’ 5*****  Edinburgh Guide

‘Intense, energetic, magical, and deeply moving’ FringeReview OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION

‘The acting [is] a masterclass…Hamnett enraptures with her remarkable delivery’ 4**** Everything Theatre

‘Frisky, funny, tantalizing’ The New York Times

‘A virtuosic performer’ Charles Isherwood, The New York Times



What if the great and tragic story of King Lear were to be told by the King’s closest companion? In this dynamic one-woman tour-de-force, Susanna Hamnett plays the Fool (and every other character) to tell a story that – with an exuberant blend of tragedy and humour – honours Shakespeare’s language while taking a bit of poetic licence. By turns poignant, mischievous, tragic, and hilarious, Nearly Lear is a very personal journey into the heart of Shakespeare’s play.

Created with Edith Tankus (Shakespeare’s Globe) and with initial development in association with Emma Rice and Mike Shepherd (Wise Children and Kneehigh), Nearly Lear is an emotional roller-coaster ride that has entranced audiences from Toronto to Aberdeen, and from Broadway and the Kennedy Center to the Sydney Opera House, and is the winner of the prestigious IPAY Victor Award for Outstanding Production. More recently it was acclaimed as a Fringe Outstanding Production at the 2023 Edinburgh Festival Fringe and in February 2024 received the Best Show Award at the Riverside Studios’ BItesize Festival in London.



‘The gateway drug for aspiring Shakespeare addicts of all ages’ Riverside Studios  

 A mighty theatrical force’ and More wit, mischief and sheer playfulness than you can legally pack into 80 minutes of live theatre!’  Roddy Phillips, Aberdeen Press and Journal    

An extraordinary rendition of King Lear unfolded on the stage last night at Riverside Studios, where a single performer (Susanna Hamnett) magnificently embodied all the characters with a contagious vitality and captivating energy. Each role came to life with such brilliance that it left me utterly awestruck and grateful that I had been in the audience to see it. This not-to-be missed performance is a testament to the artist’s remarkable talent and the transformative power of theater.’ Joe M (audience member)



Adapted from Shakespeare by Susanna Hamnett and Edith Tankus

Director  Edith Tankus
Additional Direction & Stage Management  Steve MacGregor
Original Lighting Design  Michelle Ramsay
Set Design  Lindsay Anne Black
Sound   Gavin Fearon
Film  David Parker