Branagh Follows Up with NT Directorial Debut???
Date: 20 February 2003
Kenneth Branagh makes his National Theatre acting debut this summer in Edward Hall's revival of David Mamet's Edmond (See News, 19 Feb 2003), but his involvement on the South Bank may not be stopping there. In an interview with the Evening Standard about the casting coup, NT artistic director-designate Nicholas Hytner said: "I spoke to Ken very shortly after I was appointed (in September 2001) and we started talking about him acting and directing here." Though for the past decade, Branagh has been primarily occupied with his film acting and directing career, he's become all the rage on stage again. Last year, his title performance in Michael Grandage's Richard III at Sheffield Crucible won rave reviews, while the Right Size comedy The Play What I Wrote, which he directed, scooped numerous awards, including two Oliviers and a Whatsonstage.com Award, and is now transferring to Broadway. Branagh's name was also bandied about last year as a popular pick to succeed Adrian Noble as artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company. In the end, the post went to Michael Boyd, who's also in keen competition for Branagh's directorial talents. Soon after his appointment, Boyd revealed that Branagh, whose last appearance onstage in London was the RSC's 1992 Hamlet, had indeed been consulted by the RSC and had expressed interest in working there again (See The Goss, 1 Aug 2002).
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