The National Theatre have announced that stage and screen star Toby Stephens will return to the stage to lead the European premiere of Tony Award-winning play Oslo this autumn.
Stephens will play the role of social-scientist Terje Rød-Larsen, with Lydia Leonard (Wolf Hall/Bring Up The Bodies, West End & Tony Award nomination on Broadway) as his wife, diplomat Mona Juul, and Peter Polycarpou (Oklahoma!, West End) as Ahmed Qurie, the former Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority.
The Lincoln Center Theater’s Tony Award-winning production of Oslo will begin performances at the National Theatre on 5 September (press nights 15, 16, 18 September), before transferring to the West End at the Harold Pinter Theatre (2 October – 30 December 2017).
The gripping new play by J T Rogers, directed by Bartlett Sher, was awarded ‘Best Play’ at the 2017 Tony Awards and was winner of every ‘Best Play’ award on Broadway this season including those given by New York Drama Critics’ Circle, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League, Obie and Lucille Lortel Awards.
In 1993, in front of the world’s press, the leaders of Israel and Palestine shook hands on the lawn of the White House. Few watching would have guessed that the negotiations leading up to this iconic moment started secretly in a castle in the middle of a forest outside Oslo.
Oslo tells the true story of how one young Norwegian couple Mona Juul (Lydia Leonard) and her husband,Terje Rød-Larsen (Toby Stephens) planned and orchestrated top-secret, high-level meetings between the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organisation, which culminated in the signing of the historic 1993 Oslo Accords. Featuring dozens of characters and set in locations across the globe, Oslo is both a political thriller and the personal story of a small band of women and men struggling together – and fighting each other – as they seek to change the world. (Mona Juul is currently the Norwegian Ambassador to the UK – the first woman to occupy the role).
The play marks a return to the stage for Stephens, who has recently completed filming Lost In Space for Netflix, playing the leading role of John Robinson. Previous stage work includes Private Lives (Chichester Festival Theatre and Gielgud Theatre), Danton’s Death (NT), The Real Thing (Old Vic) and A Doll’s House (Donmar Warehouse), and he is well known on screen for roles such as Captain Flint in Black Sails, and Bond villain Gustav Graves in Die Another Day.
The cast also includes Geraldine Alexander, Philip Arditti, Thomas Arnold, Nabil Elouahabi , Paul Herzberg. Karoline Gable, Anthony Shuster, Daniel Stewart and Howard Ward. Further casting will be announced.