Mark Rylance will make his Shakespearean Broadway debut later this year when Tim Carroll’s hugely successful productions of Twelfth Night and Richard III transfer to New York, with Rylance, Stephen Fry and Samuel Barnett reprising their starring roles.
The all-male double-bill will play at the Belasco theatre from 15 October (press night 10 November) following critical acclaim and numerous award nominations when the repertory productions opened at Shakespeare’s Globe last summer before playing a similarly successful West End season.
The productions offer New York theatregoers a unique experience, for while British audiences arguably know Rylance best for his many Shakespearean performances – from his early acting days with the Royal Shakespeare Company to his time as Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe –theatregoers on the other side of the Atlantic have yet to see the Olivier and Tony Award-winning actor, coined “our greatest living actor” by The Independent, perform work by England’s most famous playwright.
In these two productions, which also mark Shakespeare’s Globe’s Broadway debut, audiences will have the opportunity to watch Rylance reprise his very different roles as both the love struck noblewoman Olivia in Shakespeare’s comedy of errors Twelfth Night and the ruthless – and sinisterly humorous – monarch in Richard III, following the actor’s many acclaimed performances in the US’ iconic theatrical city including West End transfers of Jerusalem, La Bête, Endgame and Boeing-Boeing.
Both productions use original practice to create an atmospheric, authentic experience, with live musicians performing throughout, hundreds of candles creating an authentic atmosphere and on-stage seating available to recreate the Globe’s inclusive theatrical experience.
Full casting is still to be announced, but Barnett joins Rylance and returns to the New York stage following his Tony Award nominated performance in the National Theatre’s hit The History Boys, while actor, presenter and television personality Fry reprises his role as Malvolio to make his Broadway acting debut.
Speaking about the Globe’s New York debut, the producers, which include London’s Sonia Friedman, said: “These productions show how laugh-out-loud funny, thrillingly theatrical and immediate Shakespeare plays can be. To see Mark Rylance, who is one of the world’s greatest, most accomplished and acclaimed stage actors, and the remarkable Shakespeare’s Globe company in these two uniquely staged extraordinary productions is an unforgettable experience.”