James Corden, best known as the star of Gavin And Stacey, will return to the National Theatre next year to lead the cast of The Servant To Two Masters in May 2011.
The actor, who may currently be better known for his comic skits with British sporting stars than for his acting talent, returns to the scene of one of his big breaks, where he starred in the original cast of The History Boys in 2004.
The Servant To Two Masters, by 18th century Venetian playwright Carlo Goldoni, has, at its centre, a comical servant named Truffaldino, who Corden will play. Always hungry, Truffaldino decides he will secretly work for two masters in the hope of being able to have more food and quell his insatiable appetite.
Richard Bean, whose play England People Very Nice courted controversy with its depiction of different races at the National Theatre in 2009, will write a new version of Goldoni’s play, which National Theatre Artistic Director Nicholas Hytner will direct.
The project reunites Hytner and Corden, who previously worked together on Alan Bennett’s The History Boys, a production that also threw young actors including Dominic Cooper, Russell Tovey and Samuel Barnett into the limelight for the first time.
Since appearing in The History Boys, Corden has focused on screen work, writing and starring in hit comedy series Gavin And Stacey, appearing with Gavin And Stacey co-star Mathew Horne in sketch series Horne And Corden, hosting James Corden’s World Cup Live and voicing Mouse in the TV adaptation of much-loved children’s book The Gruffalo.