Mark Rylance will return to the London stage this autumn when Farinelli And The King, which has proved a hit at Shakespeare’s Globe’s Sam Wanamaker Theatre, transfers to the Duke of York’s Theatre.
Written by musician and playwright Claire Van Kampen, who is married to the Wolf Hall and Jerusalem star, the new play set in 18th century Spain will open in the West End in September. An exact date is yet to be confirmed.
Farinelli And The King, in which Rylance plays the titular monarch King Philippe V, is the story of one of the greatest celebrities of his time, the castrato Farinelli, and why the world famous singer chose to leave fame and fortune behind in favour of a life in the king’s court.
This marks the second time 0that Olivier Award winner Rylance has transferred a production from Shakespeare’s Globe to the West End in recent years, following the hugely successful all-male stagings of Twelfth Night and Richard III.
As with that transfer, the West End theatre will also take on many of the Globe’s performance techniques; the stage will be bathed in the warm glow of candle-light and the live music will be played on Baroque instruments.
Farinelli And The King arrives at the Duke of York’s Theatre following a summer season for the Felicity Kendal-led production of timeless Noël Coward comedy Hay Fever. Currently the venue is playing host to another transfer, the acclaimed Royal Court Theatre production of online thriller The Nether.