An actress currently playing a minor role in Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead at the Theatre Royal Haymarket will see her stock rise considerably this summer when she plays Miranda to Ralph Fiennes’s Prospero in The Tempest.
Elisabeth Hopper, who has a non-speaking role in the Stoppard play, will reunite with Rosencrantz director Sir Trevor Nunn to play Prospero’s daughter, who grows up in exile on a deserted island with only her father and a couple of fantastical beings for company.
The show’s casting also brings another star of Nunn’s Theatre Royal Haymarket season back to the historic theatre. Royal Shakespeare Company alumnus Clive Wood, who appeared opposite Sienna Miller and Sheridan Smith in Flare Path earlier this year, returns to play Stephano.
Film and stage star Julian Wadham is reunited with Fiennes, with whom he starred in the Oscar-winning film The English Patient. Wadham, who will also be seen in the big screen adaptation of War Horse later this year, is to play Antonio.
For National Theatre regular Giles Terera (Caliban), who also starred in the West End production of Avenue Q, this casting marks a return to The Tempest, having previously appeared in an RSC production of the play.
The initial cast list is completed by rising star Tom Byam Shaw, who returns to London, where he previously starred in Salome at the Hampstead theatre and the Olivier Award-nominated Donmar Trafalgar production of Les Parents Terribles, to play Ariel.
Further casting is still to be announced.
This summer is shaping up to be a busy one for Fiennes who, before he takes to the London stage to play the usurped Duke who is armed with magic and headed for revenge, will be promoting one of the biggest films of the year, Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2. The film sees him playing an altogether more evil wizard with his eye on revenge, Lord Voldemort.
The Tempest opens at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in early September, following the current run of Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead, which runs until 20 August.