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ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD AND RALPH FIENNES IN WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE’S THE TEMPEST

Friday 01 April 2011

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THEATRE ROYAL HAYMARKET COMPANY ARTISTIC DIRECTOR TREVOR NUNN TO DIRECT SAMUEL BARNETT, JAMIE PARKER AND TIM CURRY IN TOM STOPPARD’S ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD AND RALPH FIENNES IN WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE’S THE TEMPEST, AS CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED PRODUCTION FLARE PATH IS EXTENDED UNTIL 11 JUNE

Following the opening of Terence Rattigan’s Flare Path, the Theatre Royal Haymarket Company today (1 April 2011) announce a further two productions to be directed by Trevor Nunn in his role as Artistic Director.  After a three week run at the Chichester Festival Theatre, Nunn’s production of Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead comes to the Theatre Royal Haymarket in June, followed in September by William Shakespeare’s The Tempest.  Further productions in the season will be announced shortly.

Trevor Nunn said:  “For my first season as Artistic Director of the Theatre Royal Haymarket, I have chosen three very different projects.  Having begun with one of Rattigan’s first plays, the semi-autobiographical Flare Path  - last performed in the West End in 1943, I am then realizing a forty year old dream by at last directing Tom Stoppard’s first masterpiece Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead with Samuel Barnett as Rosencrantz, Jamie Parker as Guildenstern and Tim Curry as The Player.  This will be followed by my first production of Shakespeare’s last play The Tempest, which will give me also my first opportunity to work with Ralph Fiennes, who will play Prospero.” 


ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD

Following a three week run at the Chichester Festival Theatre, Trevor Nunn will direct a company led by Samuel Barnett, Jamie Parker and Tim Curry in Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead which will run at the Theatre Royal Haymarket from 16 June – 20 August, with press night on 21 June 2011.  Set design is by Simon Higlett, with costumes by Fotini Dimou, lighting by Tim Mitchell, sound by Paul Groothuis and music by Steven Edis.  Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead is produced by the Chichester Festival Theatre, the Theatre Royal Haymarket and Triumph Entertainment Limited.
                                                                                  
Joining Samuel Barnett (Rosencrantz), Jamie Parker (Guildenstern) and Tim Curry (The Player) are
Chris Andrew Mellon (The Player King), Michael Benz (Horatio), Fiona Gillies (Gertrude), Tom Golding (Fortinbras), Charles Hamblett (Alfred), Jack Hawkins (Hamlet), Andrew Jarvis (Polonius/Ambassador), Katherine Press (Ophelia) and James Simmons (Claudius) as well as Trevor Allan Davies, Tomm Coles, Jody Elin Machin, Zac Fox, Elisabeth Hopper, Greg Last, James Northcote and Stephen Pallister. 

In Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, a verbally scintillating and richly inventive play, Stoppard retells Hamlet through the eyes of two of its minor characters.  Vaguely conscious that they are bit parts in a much bigger story of which they have no direct knowledge, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern hilariously and poignantly inhabit a world completely beyond their grasp.

Samuel Barnett, who will play Rosencrantz, was last on stage as Leantio in Women Beware Women at the National Theatre.  He played Posner in Alan Bennett’s The History Boys at the National Theatre, on Broadway, on film and on the radio.  His other theatre credits include His Dark Materials for the National Theatre, The Whisky Taster and When You Cure Me for the Bush Theatre, Dealers Choice for the Menier Chocolate Factory, The Marriage of Figaro for the Royal Exchange Theatre, Accrington Pals for Chichester Festival Theatre and Frankenstein for the Open Air Theatre Regents Park.  On television his credits include Two Pints of Larger and a Packet of Crisps, Miss Marple, Beautiful People, Desperate Romantics, Crooked House, John Adams and the title role in Wilfred Owen: A Tale of Remembrance.  His other film credits include Bright Star, Mrs Henderson Presents and Love tomorrow. 

Jamie Parker, who will play Guildenstern, has recently completed a run at Sheffield Theatre’s as Tony Ferris in David Hare’s Racing Demon.  Previously he has been seen as Prince Hal in Henry IV Parts I and II; A New World-The Life of Thomas Payne and As You Like It at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre as well as in roles in My Zinc Bed at the Theatre Royal Northampton, Singer at the Tricycle Theatre and The Revenger’s Tragedy for the National Theatre.  Parker also played Scripps in Alan Bennett’s The History Boys at the National Theatre, on Broadway and on film.  His other film credits include Valkyrie.  His television credits include The Hour, Horne and Cordon, Silent Witness, Maxwell, Wire in the Blood and Foyles War.

Tim Curry returns to the London stage to play The Player.  He was last in the West End in 2006 playing King Arthur in Monty Python’s Spamalot, a role he created on Broadway.  For the National Theatre his credits include The Threepenny Opera, Love for Love and The Rivals.  He played Frank-N-Furter in The Rocky Horror Show both in the West End and on Broadway.  On Broadway his theatre work includes Amadeus, My Favourite Year and Travesties.  His many film credits include Burke and Hare, Kinsey, Addams Family Reunion, Congo, The Hunt for Red October, Legend, Annie and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.  In addition to appearing extensively on various television series, his credits include Cranford, The Colour of Magic, Poirot, Criminal Minds, Will and Grace, Stephen King’s It, Wiseguy and Oliver Twist.  Curry’s voice can be heard in countless animated films and television programmes, numerous audio books and several albums.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead was first staged at the Edinburgh Festival in 1966 and at the National Theatre the following year.  Since then, it has been performed in many languages.  In 1990, the play was made into a film directed by the author. 
Tom Stoppard’s plays include The Real Inspector Hound, Jumpers, Travesties, Night and Day, The Real Thing, Hapgood, Indian Ink, Arcadia, The Invention of Love, The Coast of Utopia and Rock ’n’ Roll.  The later two, and Arcadia and Every Good Boy Deserves Favour (1977) were directed by Trevor Nunn.  His translations and adaptations include works by Lorca, Nestroy, Schnitzler, Molnar, Pirandello and Chekhov.  Among his television credits are Professional Foul and Squaring the Circle.  Stoppard’s film work includes Billy Bathgate, Empire of the Sun, Enigma and Shakespeare in Love for which he was awarded an Oscar for Best Screenplay, together with co-writer Marc Norman.  Radio plays include If You’re Glad, I’ll Be Frank, Albert’s Bridge, In the Native State and On Dover Beach (2007).

THE TEMPEST


Ralph Fiennes will return to the Theatre Royal Haymarket to play Prospero in William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, directed by Trevor Nunn.  The Tempest will run from 27 August – 29 October, with press night on 06 September 2011.  The Tempest is produced by the Theatre Royal Haymarket and Triumph Entertainment Limited.  Further casting will be announced shortly.

Almost certainly Shakespeare’s last play, The Tempest can lay claim to being the first ever work of magic realism.  Marooned and left to die on a remote island, Prospero can command spirits, create apparitions and manipulate the elements.  By using his magic, he assembles his enemies to take revenge on them, and in the process awakens in Miranda, his teenage daughter, her first experience of love.  The theme of reconciliation gives immense emotional force to Shakespeare’s farewell to the stage.

Ralph Fiennes was last at the Theatre Royal Haymarket playing the title role in Brand.  His extensive theatre credits include the title role in Oedipus and Jung in The Talking Cure for the National Theatre, Faith Healer at Dublin’s Gate Theatre and on Broadway, God of Carnage at the Gielgud Theatre, Julius Caesar at the Barbican and on tour as well as many productions for the Almeida Theatre including the title roles in Hamlet, Ivanov, Richard II and Coriolanus, and, for the Royal Shakespeare Company, Edmund in King Lear, Henry VI in The Plantagenets, and Troilus in Troilus and Cressida.  His multi award-winning film career includes The Constant Gardner, Sunshine and Schindler’s List, as well as the English Patient, The Duchess, End of the Affair, Quiz Show and The Reader.  More recently he made his mark as one of literature’s most terrifying villains, the evil Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter series of films and was nominated for an Emmy and a Golden Globe for his performance in HBO’s bio-pic Bernard and Doris.  In 2009 he filmed roles in Clash of the Titans, Cemetery Junction, Nanny McPhee 2 and the final instalments of the Harry Potter films.  In 2010 he directed and starred in a feature film of Shakespeare’s tragedy, Coriolanus which he also produced.  The film was invited to premiere In Competition at the 2011 Berlin Film Festival and will open at the end of 2011.


EXTENDED RUN FOR CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED FLARE PATH

Trevor Nunn’s production of Terence Rattigan’s Flare Path extends it critically acclaimed run at the Theatre Royal Haymarket with performances now on sale until 11 June 2011.  Set and costumes are by Stephen Brimson Lewis with lighting by Paul Pyant, sound by Paul Groothuis and projection design by Jack James.  Flare Path is produced by Matthew Byam Shaw for Playful Productions, Theatre Royal Haymarket Company, Act Productions Ltd and Tom McKitterick.
 
The cast comprises Joe Armstrong (Dusty), Jim Creighton (Wiggy Jones), Sarah Crowden (Mrs.Oakes), Mark Dexter (Count Skriczevinsky), Harry Hadden-Paton (Teddy), Emma Handy (Maudie), Sienna Miller (Patricia), James Purefoy (Peter), Sheridan Smith (Doris), Matthew Tennyson (Percy) and Clive Wood (Swanson).

It is 1942. At the Falcon Hotel, on the edge of an airfield in Lincolnshire, Teddy, a young bomber pilot is celebrating a reunion with his actress wife Patricia. Events take an unexpected turn, when Peter a famous heartthrob film star arrives, and an urgent bombing mission over Germany is ordered. As the night gives way to dawn, Patricia finds herself at the centre of a passionate conflict of love and loyalty as unpredictable as the war in the skies.

TREVOR NUNN
Trevor Nunn was the longest-serving Artistic Director and Chief Executive of the Royal Shakespeare Company (1968 to 1986). During that time he directed most of the Shakespeare canon, as well as Nicholas Nickleby and Les Misérables. He returned to the RSC to direct King Lear and The Seagull. From 1997 to 2003 he was Director of the National Theatre where his 21 productions included award-winning revivals of Troilus and Cressida, The Merchant of Venice, Summerfolk and The Cherry Orchard, as well as Oklahoma!, My Fair Lady and Anything Goes. He has directed the world premieres of Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, The Coast of Utopia and Rock 'n' Roll, and of Cats, Starlight Express, Aspects of Love, Sunset Boulevard and The Woman in White by Andrew Lloyd Webber.  His more recent theatre work includes Hamlet and Richard II at The Old Vic, Timon of Athens and Skellig for the Young Vic, The Lady From the Sea for the Almeida, Scenes from a Marriage for the Belgrade, Coventry, A Little Night Music for the Menier Chocolate Factory, in the West End and on Broadway, Cyrano de Bergerac for Chichester Festival Theatre, Inherit the Wind for The Old Vic and Birdsong at the Comedy Theatre. 

THE THEATRE ROYAL HAYMARKET COMPANY

In an initiative pioneered by the theatre’s producers, Arnold M. Crook and Nigel Everett, the newly created Theatre Royal Haymarket Company presented their first season of work in 2007/08 under the direction of Jonathan Kent.  The season comprised The Country Wife, The Sea and Marguerite.  This was followed by Waiting for Godot and Breakfast at Tiffany’s directed by Sean Mathias, Artistic Director of the Theatre Royal Haymarket Company in 2009.  Now Trevor Nunn will direct a season of work throughout 2011.

The historic Theatre Royal Haymarket, a Grade 1 listed building built in 1821 by John Nash, was erected on The Haymarket a short distance from the original site which dates back to 1720.   In 1994, under the direction of Chairman Arnold M. Crook and the Board of Directors, a £1.3 million investment saw a major overhaul and refurbishment of the theatre, restoring the building to its original glory as well as the modernisation of facilities for both theatregoers and theatre practitioners alike.

MASTERCLASS


Since Masterclass was created in 1998, it has established itself as the leading provider of free training for aspiring theatre makers.  Masterclass runs a year round programme of talks, workshops, special projects, career advice sessions, showcases and professionally staged theatre productions.  Its apprentice scheme gives anyone aged 14-30 unprecedented access to one of the West End’s most historic stages along with insight into all aspects of theatre from writing and acting to directing, producing or a career backstage, with masters of the craft.  2011 will see expansion of the programme with the addition of schools workshops led by skilled practitioners and the Haymarket Academy, presenting the opportunity for young people aged 14-18 to work with emerging theatre professionals in order to stage a youth production on the Theatre Royal Haymarket stage.
 
During the run of The Tempest, three apprentices from Masterclass will shadow members of the creative team.


[posted by Honza, 01/04/2011]

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