Bertie Carvel will lead the cast of The Old Vic’s The Hairy Ape when Eugene O’Neill’s expressionist masterpiece opens at the historic London theatre this October.
Carvel, who has been casting a spell over TV viewers in magical drama Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, will play labourer Yank in the tale of the strongest stoker on a transatlantic ocean liner. A less than pleasant encounter with the daughter of a steel merchant sparks a crisis of consciousness in Yank and sets him on a journey to find his true place in the world.
Before taking to the Old Vic stage, where he will be directed by Richard Jones, Carvel will be plying his trade at the Almeida Theatre. At the Islington venue he stars alongside Skyfall star Ben Whishaw in Greek drama Bakkhai, which begins its run later this month and continues until mid-September.
The stage and screen star, who played Nick Clegg in political drama Coalition, previously won an Olivier Award for his performance as the terrifying Miss Trunchbull in Matilda The Musical, a role he originated for the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Bertie Carvel as Matilda The Musical’s Miss Trunchbull
The Hairy Ape is the second production in Matthew Warchus’ first season as Artistic Director of The Old Vic, and will see the famous auditorium return to its classic proscenium arch arrangement.
It follows season opener Future Conditional, a new play about education starring Rob Brydon and a host of young performers, and current hit musical revival High Society, the final production in outgoing Artistic Director Kevin Spacey’s tenure.