Derek Jacobi joins Romeo And Juliet

Published May 1, 2015

Derek Jacobi will be reunited with his Cinderella co-stars when he joins Lily James and Richard Madden in Kenneth Branagh’s 2016 production of Romeo And Juliet at the Garrick Theatre.

The stage and screen legend will play Mercutio in the production, the fourth in the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company’s five-show West End season, from 12 May to 13 August 2016.

An unconventionally aged casting choice for the role of Romeo’s close friend, Jacobi returns to the London stage for the first since his performance as the eponymous monarch in 2010’s King Lear at the Donmar Warehouse.

The classical actor’s career, which spans more than five decades, has seen him appear extensively on stage and screen. In addition to Branagh’s recent fairytale-inspired film Cinderella, Jacobi’s numerous other screen credits include hit films The Day Of The Jackal, Gladiator and The King’s Speech, and BBC drama series The Last Tango In Halifax.

On stage, Jacobi has appeared in numerous Shakespearean productions including The Tempest, Macbeth, Richard III, Much Ado About Nothing and, more recently, Twelfth Night, which played as part of the 2008 Donmar West End season and earned the acclaimed actor his second Olivier Award.

Talking about his latest Shakespearean role, Jacobi said: “It’s always a privilege to return to Shakespeare. The role of Mercutio is an exciting and intriguing challenge to take on. I’m particularly happy to tackle it in the company of Richard Madden and Lily James, with whom I had such an exciting working relationship in Cinderella.”

The trio of performers will star in the Bard’s heart-breaking tale of forbidden love following The Winter’s Tale, starring Judi Dench, Harlequinade and The Painkiller, and prior to the final show in Branagh’s star-studded season, The Entertainer.