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Rourke recruits Menzies for debut production

Published 25 November 2011

Tobias Menzies is to lead the cast of Josie Rourke’s first production as Artistic Director of the Donmar Warehouse, The Recruiting Officer.

The stellar cast for George Farquhar’s restoration farce also includes Mackenzie Crook, Nancy Carroll, Mark Gatiss, Rachael Stirling and Gawn Grainger.

Menzies plays Captain Plume, who is recruiting the men of Shrewsbury for the King’s army. He’s also determined to make a conquest of heiress Sylvia (Carroll), who can afford to put him to the test. Meanwhile Melinda (Stirling) is toying with the affections of Captain Brazen (Gatiss) and the gentleman Mr Worthy.

Menzies returns to the stage after appearing in The Children’s Hour at the Comedy theatre in February. His London credits include King Lear at the Young Vic, Cloud Nine at the Almeida theatre and The History Boys at the National Theatre. He is also well known for his screen work including The Shadow Line, Any Human Heart, Spooks and Rome.

Leading ladies Carroll and Stirling are both regulars on the London stage. Carroll won this year’s Best Actress Olivier Award for her performance in After The Dance at the National Theatre, while Stirling was nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for An Ideal Husband. Carroll’s copious credits include The Voysey Inheritance at the National Theatre, House Of Games and Waste at the Almeida theatre and Arcadia at the Duke of York’s, while Stirling has also been seen in The Priory at the Royal Court and A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Rose theatre, Kingston.

Crook (Sergeant Kite) jumps straight from one West End production to another, as he is currently appearing in hit play Jerusalem at the Apollo theatre, which ends its run on 14 January. The Pirates Of The Caribbean star’s other stage work also includes The Seagull at the Royal Court, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest in the West End and Aliens at the Bush theatre, where Rourke is currently Artistic Director.

A member of gruesome comedy outfit The League Of Gentlemen, Gatiss has turned to stage work of late, appearing in productions including Season’s Greetings at the National Theatre and All About My Mother at the Old Vic. His TV work includes The Crimson Petal And The White, Sherlock and Psychoville.

Lastly, London stage veteran Grainger (Mr Balance) returns to the Donmar where he previously appeared in Tales From Hollywood and Fool For Love.

The Recruiting Officer starts previews on 9 February (press night 14 February) and runs until 14 April. Before that, outgoing Artistic Director Michael Grandage’s final production at the Donmar Warehouse, Richard II, begins performances on 1 December.

CB

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