Cast: Crook Returns to Court, ENRON, Peter PanDate: 11 May 2009
Mackenzie Crook will return to the Royal Court next month to star alongside Mark Rylance in the world premiere of Jez Butterworth’s Jerusalem, directed by former Court artistic director and frequent Butterworth collaborator Ian Rickson, which runs from 15 July to 15 August 2009 (previews from 10 July) in the Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Downstairs (See News, 6 Nov 2008).
Crook (pictured) plays Ginger, friend and partner-in-crime of Johnny Byron (Rylance), who is a wheelchair-bound, caravan-dwelling ex-stuntman and all-round village rogue and modern-day Pied Piper. It’s St George's Day, the morning of the local county fair, and Johnny is a wanted man. The council officials want to serve him an eviction notice, his children want their dad to take them to the fair, Troy Whitworth wants to give him a serious kicking and a motley crew of mates want his ample supply of drugs and alcohol.
Crook, best known for his screen roles in the three Pirates of the Caribbean films and TV’s The Office, made his Court debut in Rickson’s 2007 production of The Seagull. His other stage work includes One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest opposite Christian Slater in the West End. Since stepping down as artistic director of Shakespeare’s Globe, Mark Rylance has starred in Boeing Boeing in the West End and on Broadway, where he won last year’s Tony Award for Best Actor.
Director Ian Rickson helmed Butterworth’s The Winterling, The Night Heron and his multi award-winning 1995 debut play Mojo at the Royal Court. The new play comes less than four months after the Almeida’s European premiere of Butterworth’s Parlour Song, also directed by Rickson (See News, 14 Oct 2008).
Further ahead at the Royal Court (See News, 3 Apr 2009), Tim Pigott-Smith and Tom Goodman-Hill, who won a Whatsonstage.com Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical for Spamalot, will join Samuel West in Rupert Goold’s Headlong co-production of Lucy Prebble’s latest play, Enron, which premieres at Chichester Festival, running from 11 July to 19 August 2009, before transferring to the Royal Court Downstairs from 17 September to 31 October. Described as an "epic tragedy", the piece is inspired by the real events surrounding the Texas-headquartered energy company that filed for bankruptcy in 2001.
In other play casting news (See News, 26 Feb 2009), Ciaran Kellgren will take the title role in the new site-specific production of JM Barrie’s Peter Pan, which is being mounted in a specially designed 1,100-seat tent in Kensington Gardens from 10 June to 30 August 2009 (previews from 26 May).
Kellgren is joined by Abby Ford (as Wendy Darling), Jonathan Hyde (Captain Hook/Mr Darling), Karen Ascoe (Mrs Darling/Never Bird) and Itxaso Moreno (Tinkerbell), with Arthur Wilson (John Darling) and David Poynor (Michael Darling). Also in the cast are Ian Hughes, Amber Rose Revah, Lee Turnbull, Ciaran Joyce, Benjamin Chamberlaine, Grant Stimpson, Ian Street, Daniel Tuite, Charlie Folorunsho, Samantha Hopkins, Mohsen Nouri, Fiona Lait, Adam Speers and Dan Wheeler.
Peter Pan is adapted by Tanya Ronder, directed by Ben Harrison and designed by William Dudley, who is creating a new 3D virtual environment for the production in the new Theatre Pavilion. It’s produced by Charlie Burnell and Mat Churchill.
- by Terri Paddock