Olivier Award-winning actor Mark Rylance will return to the stage next year to star in the premiere of musician and playwright Claire van Kampen’s Farinelli And The King at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.
Playing at Shakespeare’s Globe’s indoor theatre from 11 February to 8 March, the husband and wife duo will be joined in the company by world renowned classical singers Iestyn Davies and William Purefoy, who will alternate the role of the castrato Farinelli.
Set in Spain and Italy, van Kampen’s play with music tells the true story of the 18th century’s most famous castrato and his decision to trade fame and fortune for a life of servitude at the court of King Philippe (Rylance).
Performing some of the greatest arias from the period, Davies and Purefoy will share the demanding title role. While Davies, who recently won the Critics’ Circle Award for Exceptional Young Talent, will make his Globe debut in the production, Purefoy returns following last summer’s production of Gabriel in the theatre’s famous outdoor space.
Rylance, himself a former Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe, returns to the London stage to play the monarch following the huge success of the revivals of Tim Carroll’s all-male Twelfth Night and Richard III, which played at the Globe before transferring to the West End and Broadway.
One of theatre’s most respected actors, his numerous stage credits include West End productions of La Bête, Endgame, Boeing Boeing, as well as the Royal Court Theatre’s phenomenally successful Jerusalem, which earned the actor his most recent Olivier Award.
A BAFTA-winning screen actor, Rylance will soon be seen leading the highly-anticipated BBC adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s epic Wolf Hall as Thomas Cromwell adding to screen appearances in The Government Inspector and the famously controversial film Intimacy.
Farinelli And The King will play as part of a season packed with musical treats at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. The candlelit theatre will host performances by popular classical musicians including tenor Ian Bostridge, classical guitarist Xuefei Yang and cellist Sonia Wieder-Atherton, who will be joined by actor Charlotte Rampling to present a unique evening celebrating the poetry of Sylvia Plath and Benjamin Britten’s suites for the cello.