Watch live-streamed production of Shakespeare's King Lear from Herts theatre

King Lear

King Lear - Credit: Supplied by Jo Emery

Lovers of William Shakespeare's work can watch an online performance of the Bard's rarely performed classic King Lear live from a Hertfordshire theatre.

St Albans director Jo Emery is producing an abridged version of the tragedy at the Pump House Theatre in Watford with a cast including actors from all corners of Herts.

King Lear is one of Shakespeare's less regularly performed plays, notably due to its three and a half hour plus running time.

With this in mind, St Albans-based theatre company Jo Emery Productions is bringing a modern, abridged adaptation to the Pump House Theatre in a live-streamed production via YouTube from Wednesday, May 12 to Saturday, May 15.

Director Jo Emery spent several months trimming the play down to a more manageable length.

“Theatre makers often shy away from one of Shakespeare’s masterpieces because of the sheer size of the undertaking," said Jo.

"My adaptation brings the play up to date into our current era, and references themes we are all too familiar with nowadays – namely mental health, homelessness and knife crime.

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"The cast have been rehearsing for a few months over Zoom calls and hail from both different areas of Herts and Bucks.

"They’re all excited to be able to get back onstage. Even though we aren’t allowed a live audience, live-streaming has taken off so much in the last year, and technology has really stepped up to help bring theatre into our homes."

A version of Shakespeare's King Lear adapted by Jo Emery will be live-streamed from the Pump House Theatre in Watford.

An abridged version of William Shakespeare's King Lear adapted by Jo Emery will be live-streamed from the Pump House Theatre in Watford. - Credit: Jo Emery

The play is set in the corporate world with Lear as the CEO dividing up his property development business empire between his three daughters.  

The onset of dementia has made his behaviour erratic and dangerous and threats of a hostile French corporate takeover bid are circling.  

His rash decision to give up all his power has devastating and fatal consequences for him, his family and executives. 

The production is online only, with no live audience allowed, and will be live-streamed at 7.45pm nightly with "virtual doors" open at 7.30pm, from May 12 to May 15.

Tickets are priced at £14 and must be purchased before 5.45pm on each night of the performance in order to obtain the YouTube streaming link in time.

Tickets are available from the Pump House website at or at or via the box office on 0333 666 3366.