Jeremy Irons - who last month helped us launch the tenth annual Whatsonstage.com Awards, on behalf of this year’s adopted charity Masterclass (See Photos, 7 Dec 2009) - will return to the Royal Shakespeare Company in March after an absence of 23 years. Irons will star in Dennis Kelly’s new play The Gods Weep (See News, 3 Sep 2009), which runs care of the RSC at London’s Hampstead Theatre from 17 March to 3 April 2010 (previews from 11 March).

Irons was last with the RSC in 1986/7 playing Leontes in The Winter’s Tale and the title role in Richard II. More recently, he’s been seen on stage in Never So Good at the National, Embers in the West End and, last year on Broadway, Impressionism. He’s become best known internationally for his screen work including Kingdom of Heaven, Being Julia, Reversal of Fortune, Elizabeth 1, Appaloosa, The Merchant of Venice and Brideshead Revisited.

In Kelly’s Shakespeare-inspired tale of corporate greed, Irons plays Colm, a CEO who has spent his life building a global empire with brutal rigour. But when he decides to divide power between his subordinates, his world begins to fracture and a bloody power struggle ensues.

Irons is joined in The Gods Weep by Helen Schlesinger (who won a Whatsonstage.com Award for the RSC production of The Crucible), Nikki Amuka-Bird, Karen Archer, Neal Barry, Babou Ceesay, Sam Hazeldine, Joanna Horton, Stephen Noonan, Luke Norris, Sally Orrock, Laurence Spellman, John Stahl and Matthew Wilson.

The production is is directed by Maria Aberg and designed by David Holmes. Dennis Kelly’s other credits include Taking Care of Baby, Osama the Hero, After the End, Love and Money and Orphans.


The Gods Weep is preceded at Hampstead, from 17 February to 6 March 2010 (previews from 10 February), by already announced David Greig’s new play Dunsinane, which takes its title from a place in Scotland that’s also mentioned in Macbeth. Set in 11th-century Scotland, where an English army sweeps in to take the seat of power and a commanding officer attempts to negotiate.

RSC regular Siobhan Redmond returns to the RSC to play the tyrant’s defiant widow Gruach. Also in the cast are: Jacob Anderson, Brian Ferguson, Lisa Hogg, Joshua Jenkins, Alex Mann, Tony McGeever, Mairi Morrison, Jonny Phillips, Daniel Rose, Ewan Stewart and Sam Swann. Dunsinane is directed by Roxana Silbert.