Further cast details have been released for the National Theatre’s upcoming productions of Shakespeare’s Henry IV Parts One and Two, starring Michael Gambon as Falstaff (See News, 17 Aug 2004). The two productions will launch the 2005 Travelex £10 season in the NT Olivier, where they’ll run in repertory from late April until the end of August (exact dates to be confirmed).

Gambon will be joined by David Bradley (Uncle Vanya and Twelfth Night at the Donmar, The Night Season at the NT) as the King, Susan Brown as Mistress Quickly (Twelfth Night for English Touring Theatre, Iphigenia for Sheffield Crucible), David Harewood (currently playing Lord Asriel in His Dark Materials in the NT Olivier) as Hotspur, Matthew Macfadyen (from TV’s Spooks - pictured) as Prince Hal and John Wood (The Invention of Love, No Man’s Land at the NT) as Justice Shallow.

Gambon was a member of the National’s 1963 inaugural season, under the directorship of Laurence Olivier at the Old Vic, but his last major NT outing was 1995’s premiere of David Hare’s Skylight, which transferred to the West End and Broadway. More recently, he’s been seen on stage in Endgame (earlier this year with comedian Lee Evans) and The Caretaker in the West End and Caryl Churchill’s A Number at the Royal Court.

The Dublin-born actor’s many screen credits include The Singing Detective, Dancing at Lughnasa, The Insider, Sleepy Hollow, Longitude, Gosford Park, Charlotte Gray, Sylvia, Angels in America and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Henry IV Parts One and Two follows Hytner’s 2003 staging of the bard’s subsequent history play, Henry V, which starred Adrian Lester and won this year’s Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers’ Choice Award for Best Shakespearean Production. Henry V launched the inaugural Travelex season, in which two-thirds of the seats in the National’s largest auditorium are reduced to just £10 for four productions running in repertory over six months.

- by Terri Paddock