Notting Hill star Rhys Ifans will return to the National Theatre stage this Christmas to star in Tim Price’s tale of the Occupy movement Protest Song, which will play in the venue’s big red box, The Shed, from 16 December.
The Welsh actor, who has previously appeared in Volpone and Under Milk Wood at the Southbank venue, but is probably best known for his roles in big screen hits including The Amazing Spiderman, Enduring Love and The Boat That Rocked, will play Danny in the one-man show. For years the character delivering Tim Price’s witty monologue has slept rough outside St Paul’s Cathedral, when one morning he awakes to find a sea of tents being erected, by which he is swept away.
Another British actor forging a career in the US, Adam Godley will also return to the National Theatre this autumn to lead the cast of From Morning To Midnight, Dennis Kelly’s adaptation of Georg Kaiser’s German Expressionist masterpiece.
Godley, who has appeared in US dramas including Suits, Mad Men and Breaking Bad, will play a bank clerk who, spurred by his lust for a stranger, steals a fortune and leaves his family and previous life behind. The extremity of his change mirrors that in the last role performed by Godley at the National Theatre, when he portrayed St Paul having his road to Damascus moment.
Melly Still’s production of this new play by Matilda The Musical’s book writer Kelly, whose The Ritual Slaughter Of Gorge Mastromas runs at the Royal Court the autumn, runs in the Lyttelton theatre from 19 November.
As we edge towards the autumn, more details about the National Theatre’s 50th anniversary celebrations have been revealed, with more performers making a return to the theatrical institution for a one-off celebration to be screened on BBC2 and to cinemas across the world on 2 November. Simon Russell Beale, Frances de la Tour, Judi Dench, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon, Derek Jacobi, Alex Jennings, Rory Kinnear, Adrian Lester, Anna Maxwell Martin, Andrew Scott, Maggie Smith and Penelope Wilton are all confirmed in the incredible cast who will take to the stage to perform excerpts from key productions in the theatre’s history. More of the performers connected to the historical venue are expected to be announced closer to the time.