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Downton star leads Globe summer

Published 27 February 2015

Charles Edwards, best known to period drama fans as Downton Abbey’s Michael Gregson will star at Shakespeare’s Globe this summer, taking the title role in Richard II.

The casting marks a return to the venue for Edwards, who previously appeared at the iconic London theatre in Much Ado About Nothing, receiving an Evening Standard Theatre Award nomination for his performance.

Richard II (11 July to 18 October) will be a contrasting role to Much Ado’s sparring, quick-witted Benedick. Shakespeare’s vain king, who brings about his own downfall through punishment, taxation and war, has been played on stage recently by Eddie Redmayne and David Tennant, and on screen by Ben Whishaw.

Edwards is joined at the Globe by Royal Shakespeare Company Associate Artist Jo Stone-Fewings and Alex Waldmann, who will lead the cast of King John as the titular monarch and The Bastard respectively.

Stone-Fewings, like Edwards, previously starred in hit West End comedy The 39 Steps, but has more recently been seen in the National Theatre’s 3 Winters and in the Jamie Lloyd-directed production of Macbeth starring James McAvoy. Waldmann returns to the venue having starred opposite Gemma Arterton in The Duchess Of Malfi, which opened the theatre’s indoor space.

The cast of King John, which runs from 1 to 27 June, is completed by former Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air star and Globe regular Joseph Marcell, Laurence Belcher, Simon Coates, Aruhan Galieva, Barbara Marten, Mark Meadows, Tanya Moodie, Ciaran Owens, Daniel Rabin and Giles Terera.

The venue has also announced that Globe alumni and recording artist Johnny Flynn, who appeared in the theatre’s 2012 productions of Twelfth Night and Richard III that transferred to the West End and Broadway, will write the music for this year’s production of As You Like It.

Shakespeare’s comedy, which runs from 15 May to 5 September, stars Michelle Terry as Rosalind, the daughter of a duke banished from court, who, disguised as a boy, seeks out her father in the Forest of Arden. There she meets Orlando, counselling him in the art of love while still hiding her identity and gender.

Richard II, King John and As You Like It are joined in the 2015 season of Justice And Mercy by the Jonathan Pryce-led The Merchant Of Venice, Romeo And Juliet, Measure For Measure, Richard III, Much Ado About Nothing, Macbeth, a revival of The Heresy Of Love, a new version of The Oresteia and new Jessica Swale play Nell Gwynn.

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