David Hayman to play King Lear at Citizens Theatre
Dominic Hill directs Scottish production of Shakespeare
It’s been 33 years since David Hayman last performed at the Citizens Theatre. ‘Backstage is very different so I now need a chaperone to get me from A to B.’ he laughs. Widely recognised for his role as DCS Walker in ITV’s Trial and Retribution, Hayman was lauded for his turns as Hamlet and Lady Macbeth at the Citz in the 1970s, and April will mark his first appearance as King Lear.
‘It’s a great play,’ Hayman says. ‘It’s about a king who learns to be a man. His wealth, power and position are stripped away from him and he’s left abandoned. Suddenly he sees life through the eyes of a pauper and he finds his own humanity. That’s a wonderful message and it’s particularly relevant today when you think of the haves and the have nots in this world, and the gap is getting greater. It’s got a real contemporary resonance.’
This social conscience is echoed throughout Hayman’s life. His charity, Spirit Aid, has set up a range of humanitarian projects, from mobile clinics in Afghanistan to Christmas presents for destitute families in the UK. ‘It’s a wonderful antidote to this industry,’ he explains, ‘I think it’s incumbent in all of us to do what we can to help those less fortunate than ourselves.’
And as he prepares to tread the boards at the Citz once more, Hayman is clearly excited about working with director Dominic Hill and a cast that includes “old pals”. He explains: ‘I think it’s been generations since we’ve had a home-produced, Scottish production of King Lear. I think it’s really bold of Dominic to do it but it is his favourite play. He’s a man who adores the classics and he’s been longing to do it. It’s fab that he’s seeing his dream come true at the Citz and in Scotland.’
Citizens Theatre, Glasgow, Fri 20 Apr–Sat 12 May