Nigel Lindsay will make his Royal Shakespeare Company debut this autumn when he plays the usurping Henry Bolingbroke opposite David Tennant in Richard II.
The actor, who can currently be seen in The Same Deep Water As Me at the Donmar Warehouse and received an Olivier Award nomination for his performance in the title role of Shrek The Musical, will star as the former timelord’s nemesis in the production that opens in Stratford-upon-Avon in October before transferring to the Barbican from 9 December.
The cast of the RSC production, which will be directed by the company’s new Artistic Director Gregory Doran, also includes Oliver Ford Davies, Michael Pennington, Jane Lapotaire, Antony Byrne, Sean Chapman, Marty Cruickshank, Marcus Griffiths, Emma Hamilton, Jim Hooper, Youssef Kerkour, Jake Mann, Sam Marks, Keith Osborn, Joshua Richards, Oliver Rix, Simon Thorp, Edmund Wiseman, Elliot Barnes-Worrell, Gracy Goldman and Miranda Nolan.
Though Lindsay is a regular with London-based companies the Almeida, the Royal Court and the National Theatre, Richard II will be the first time he has joined the ranks of the historic RSC. The rest of the cast balances out the experience levels, with Ford Davies, Pennington and Lapotaire veterans of the Stratford-upon-Avon based company.
The production, which will play at the former London home of the RSC until 25 January, will also be screened live to cinemas worldwide on 13 November as part of the company’s new Live from Stratford-upon-Avon initiative, and will be streamed to an expected 60,000 students on 15 November in a project that takes the production into classrooms and also offers a live Q&A with both the director and the leading man.
No further London transfers of the RSC’s current summer season, which includes Maria Aberg’s acclaimed production of As You Like It and Nancy Meckler’s equally lauded staging of All’s Well That Ends Well, have been announced.