Michael Elwyn, Peter Wight and James Garnon are among the actors set to join Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones at the Old Vic this autumn, in the Mark Rylance-directed production of Much Ado About Nothing.
With stage and screen veterans Redgrave and Jones playing quick witted would-be lovers Beatrice and Benedick, Beth Cooke (King Lear, Abbey theatre) and Lloyd Everitt (Chariots Of Fire, Hampstead theatre and West End) play young lovers Hero and Claudio, while Elwyn, last seen in The Audience, plays Leonato.
Wight, who plays Dogberry and Friar Francis, was last seen in the Donmar Warehouse production of Trelawny Of The Wells, while Garnon, who plays Don Pedro, is a regular at Shakespeare’s Globe, where he is currently appearing in The Tempest and Gabriel.
The cast is completed by Tim Barlow, Penelope Beaumont, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Katherine Carlton, Alan David, Melody Grove, Trevor Laird, Leroy Osei-Bonsu, Mark Ross and Danny Lee Wynter.
The production, which reunites Redgrave and Jones after their previous success in Driving Miss Daisy, and, surprisingly, offers them both their first chance to play these classic roles, begins its run at the Old Vic on 7 September.
Shakespeare’s tale of lovers thwarted by a scheming prince and a bantering, bickering couple who refuse to acknowledge their affection follows the Waterloo venue’s current hit Sweet Bird Of Youth, which stars Kim Cattrall.