KING Lear: Live from Shakespeare's Globe will electrify local cinemas when it's shown on Thursday September 21.

King Lear (Kevin McNally) decides to divide his kingdom amongst his three daughters, but fails to anticipate the consequences of his actions. His generosity is cruelly repaid. As he comes to realise the false values by which he has lived, he finally encounters his own humanity.

Actor Kevin McNally, who plays King Lear, nearly skipped his audition for Pirates of the Caribbean, because he was enjoying a few drinks in his backyard on his birthday.

“I had been going up for many years for American movies and I was sort of getting fed up,” he said.

He’d go on to deliver the first spoken words in the film as superstitious seaman Joshamee Gibbs and play the part in all five films in one of the biggest franchises in movie history, the only actor alongside Johnny Depp and Geoffrey Rush to stay the course.

In the first read-through of Pirates, he and Geoffrey Rush rapidly discovered they were using almost identical “har-har-har” accents. They have never spoken consecutively in any scene since.

That breakthrough paved the way for a string of other US screen roles, transforming the veteran actor’s career at an age many see work trickle away - and helped push him for his latest, greatest part, as King Lear on the stage of Shakespeare’s Globe in London.

Kevin R McNally, 61, has a rich laugh, and fine sense of humour. His career runs from writing nine episodes of classic TV crime caper Minder, to sharing the stage with Maggie Smith in the original stage play of Alan Bennett’s The Lady in the Van. He has kept in touch with the “extraordinary” Dame Maggie, through his wife the Scottish actress Phyllis Logan, who plays housekeeper Mrs Hughes in Downton Abbey, in which McNally also appeared as Horace Bryant.

For months after he landed the role of King Lear, McNally was totally immersed in mastering what’s called the Everest of acting. The CinemaLive transmission is the very first from the Globe Theatre, with its open air pit, 20 years after it opened in London. The chance of rain pouring down on the audience and the front of the stage, will add a spectacularly live element to the broadcast - but Lear, where the half-mad King wanders the moors after giving up his kingdom to his viciously cruel daughters, is famous for its stormy scenes.

Directed by Nancy Meckler, of the Shared Experience company, the production plays on the theme of the homeless king with actors breaking into the set as if it was a squat. Lear and his dressed-down entourage process about the stage in what looks like an oversized shopping trolley.

This cut of the play, to three hours, focuses firmly on the intense family drama, particularly Lear’s tragic relationship with his most beloved daughter, Cordelia, as a younger generation turn brutally upon their elders. It allows more laughter to creep in than you expect, but McNally successfully reduces you to tears.

Shakespeare's Globe's production of King Lear is showing at Weymouth Cineworld and Dorchester Odeon on Thursday September 21.