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Rhys Ifans to play the Fool in King Lear

Rhys Ifans to play the Fool in King Lear

Rhys Ifans has been cast as the Fool in a new stage production of Shakespeare's 'King Lear'.

The 48-year-old will co-star alongside double Oscar winning actress-Glenda Jackson - who takes up the role of Lear, traditionally played by a man, for her theatrical comeback after 23 years.

According to the Daily Mail newspaper, Rhys accepted the role of Lear's scheming clown after he was approached by director Deborah Warner.

Rhys - who has starred in several hit films, including 'Notting Hill', 'The Amazing Spider-Man' and 'Snowden' - will also be joined in the play by

Harry Melling, who will play heroic Edgar who tries to watch over Lear and Gloucester, his father.

The play will run from October 25 this year at the Old Vic Theatre in London.

Matthew Warchus, artistic chief at the Old Vic, previously worked with Rhys at the National Theatre when he starred in 'Volpone'.

Explaining her bold decision to cast 79-year-old Glenda as Lear, director Warner revealed the actress' 25 years serving as a Labour MP in the UK was a major factor in the process.

Warner said: "Her quarter of a century in Parliament was an example of someone going off to research an 'interior life'. But from an actor's point of view, that can only be thrillingly meaningful, with respect to what they bring back."