Ralph Fiennes and Clare Higgins star in Sophocles’s tragic tale, Oedipus.

The people of Thebes look to Oedipus to lift a terrible curse from them and their city. He consults the oracle and learns that he must root out the late king’s murderer. But his relentless interrogation of one man after another leads inexorably, and in the space of a single day, to his own savage conclusion.

Fiennes, who plays Oedipus, is best known for his film work, which includes the Oscar-winning The English Patient and Schindler’s List, Hannibal Lecter thriller Red Dragon, Martin McDonagh’s In Bruges and the Harry Potter series, in which he plays the evil Lord Voldemort. He recently returned to the London stage in God Of Carnage.

Higgins is a three-time Laurence Olivier Award-winning actress, collecting the coveted statuette for her performances in Sweet Bird Of Youth (1995), Vincent In Brixton (2002) and Hecuba (2005). Her portrayal of Jocasta in Oedipus follows recent National Theatre appearances in A Slight Ache and Major Barbara.

Fellow Oedipus cast members Alan Howard and Jasper Britton have both worked extensively with the National Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company, while Malcolm Storry recently played Gandalf in stage adaptation of The Lord Of The Rings.

The National Theatre production of Sophocles’s Oedipus is translated by Frank McGuinness, the Irish playwright who has previously translated Ibsens’s Rosmersolm and Brecht’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle for the company. McGuinness’s own plays include The Factory Girls, Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me, Speaking Like Magpies and There Came A Gypsy Riding.

For more about Oedipus at the National Theatre Olivier read the First Night Feature.

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