When Frank Langella stumbles on stage as King Lear something seems afoot.

Why is this regal man, supposedly at the height of his powers but ready to relinquish his lands to his children, so pitiful? It is as if he already knows his fate, which makes his journey – discovering duplicitous daughters and his own idiocy, before descending to madness and ruin – too short. Because, bizarrely, minutes later, we see Lear fine and dandy after a shooting party.

Still, Langella’s performance has moments: as he questions the nature of man in whirling wind on a wet moor, water streaming from the Minerva ceiling on to a stark stone floor in this wonderfully moody, atmospheric production; as he becomes a tender father to Cordelia (Isabella Laughland).

If Laughland lacks the warmth the role of Cordelia demands then Max Bennett, as scheming Edmund, is hand in leather glove. He oozes confidence and can hardly believe his luck at the ease with which people want to believe what their eyes tell them otherwise. He sparkles and dominates the role without overdoing it.

Catherine McCormack and Lauren O’Neil as Goneril and Regan are suitably spoilt and charming, all snide smirks and smiles, a ruthless pair who could have been lifted straight from HBO’s Game Of Thrones.

That trio lead an epic, entertaining and pacy production, which is an ensemble triumph.