Mark Gatiss will star as King Charles I in Howard Brenton’s new play 55 Days at the Hampstead theatre this autumn.
Directed by Olivier Award-winner Howard Davies, 55 Days is set during one of the most tumultuous periods of English history, the mid-17th century, and plays from 18 October to 24 November.
With England exhausted by Civil War, the people are trying to think the unthinkable and plan a country without a king. With Charles I refusing to compromise, Oliver Cromwell struggles to invent a political future for his country as he presides over the death of medieval England and the birth of the modern state.
Gatiss, who was last seen on stage in the Donmar Warehouse’s The Recruiting Officer has also appeared in London shows including Season’s Greetings at the National Theatre and All About My Mother at the Old Vic, will make his Hampstead theatre debut as the king who weathered the only military coup in British history. The actor and writer had previously been due to appear in the venue’s 2009 Christmas show Darker Shores, but was forced to withdraw for personal reasons.
Best known for his screen appearances, Gatiss first came into the public eye in the BBC’s surrealist comedy series The League Of Gentlemen, which he also co-wrote. Most recently the actor co-created and starred in the BBC’s cult series Sherlock and has also been seen in The Crimson Petal And The White, Being Human, Worried About The Boy and Inspector George Gently. On film, Gatiss has appeared in Match Point, Starter For Ten and Shaun Of The Dead.
55 Days plays as part of the Hampstead theatre autumn season which will open with David Hare’s The Judas Kiss from 6 September with Rupert Everett and Freddie Fox as the drama’s leading men.