Patrick Stewart returns to the London stage to star in Ibsen’s haunting The Master Builder at the Albery Theatre, running for a limited season from Thursday 12th June 2003. Starring alongside him is Sue Johnston, best known for her television roles as Sheila Grant in Brookside and Barbara Royle in The Royle Family.
Directed by Anthony Page, in a new translation by Gladiator’s screen play writer John Logan, The Master Builder tells the story of Halvard Solness (Patrick Stewart), an aging builder and architect who has ruthlessly built up his reputation at the expense of his relationship with his wife and colleagues. Solness fears being usurped by youth, while at the same time desperately needing to be nurtured by it. When a vivacious young woman arrives to collect on a decade old promise, she inspires him to build castles in the air with tragic consequences.
Prior to taking command of The Enterprise as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in the international television and film series Star Trek, Patrick Stewart had a distinguished career at the RSC and National Theatre where he played numerous leading roles. He last performed on the British stage in the Yorkshire Playhouse’s revival of JB Priestley’s Johnson Over Jordan and on the London stage in 1993 at The Old Vic in A Christmas Carol. He has also reprised his role as Professor Xavier in the recently released blockbuster X-Men 2.
Sue Johnston came to the attention of the British public when she joined Brookside in 1982 as Sheila Grant. Today her face is probably most familiar as the chain-smoking Barbara Royle in The Royle Family, for which she has won two British Comedy Awards, and as Dr Grace Foley in Waking the Dead. Her recent theatre work includes playing the guest in The Play What I Wrote and the Virgin Mary in The Mysteries at the National Theatre.
The outstanding cast also includes: Lisa Dillon (Hilda Wangel), who was noted for her recent performance in the title role of Iphegenia at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre and stars alongside Toby Stephens, Tom Hollander and Sam West in the BBC television series Cambridge Spies, Edward de Souza (Knut Brovik), Katherine Manners (Kaia Fosli), Stephen Kennedy (Ragnar Brovik) and Jonathan Hackett (Doctor Herdal).