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 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.