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16 - 18 August 2014

'A bitter fool' King Lear

The lobby of a grand hotel, New Year's Eve. A snow storm rages. Minetti, a long-forgotten actor, arrives in great spirits to discuss his comeback as King Lear with a theatre director.

While he waits patiently in the hotel lobby, Minetti's obsessive personality reveals itself in a series of strange encounters with other guests. He rails against outrageous fortune and unfulfilled ambitions, often colliding with crowds of young hotel guests who frequently burst in to celebrate New Year's Eve. As with King Lear, the storm which rages outside reflects his turbulent emotions until he finally finds peace and resolution.

Director Tom Cairns brings Thomas Bernhard's rarely performed masterpiece to life, in a moving portrait of a once celebrated actor now isolated and forgotten. Starring Peter Eyre as Minetti, the production is a collaboration with two of the world's great dramatic institutions: the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, London, and The Juilliard School, New York, whose young actors provide an anarchic presence throughout.

Eyre's exquisitely understated performance is a masterclass in how to make something very hard look effortless

The Guardian

Philosophical, funny...irresistably comic, but moving...It blew me away

The Times on Tom Cairns's Scenes From an Execution

An Edinburgh International Festival production

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  • Language: 
    Performed in English
  • Running time: 
    2 hours approximately

Supported by

U.S. Embassy, London flag
U.S. Embassy, London



By Thomas Bernhard

Minetti Peter Eyre

Tom Cairns Director and designer

Photo: Konstantinos Veletas

This event was part of a previous International Festival and is therefore unavailable to book.

The 2017 International Festival programme will be released in the spring.


Grand circle: £32 £25 £17 £10
Stalls: £32 £25 £21 £10
Stalls boxes: £25
Upper circle: £25 £21 £17 £10

Current discounts

Under 18s: 50% off
Students: 50% off
Young Scot cardholders: 50% off
Senior citizens: 50% off
Unemployed people: 50% off
Equity/MU cardholders: 50% off