Tim McInnerny (pictured) will play Iago opposite Eamonn Walker in the title role of Othello, in the first-ever production of the play to be staged at the modern replica of Shakespeare’s Globe (See News, 6 Feb 2007). Directed by Wilson Milam, the play, about the murderous jealousy of a black man in a white man’s world, opens on 24 May 2007 (previews from 4 May) at the South Bank landmark, where it continues in rep until 19 August 2007 as part of Dominic Dromgoole’s Renaissance + Revolution summer season.

Best known for TV’s Blackadder, McInnerny’s stage credits include Comedians (West End), Mappa Mundi (National) and, most recently, The Lady from the Sea (Almeida), while he’s also been seen on screen in Richard III, Notting Hill, Severance, Spooks and The Line of Beauty. McInnerny and Walker are joined in the Globe cast by Zoe Tapper (Epitaph for George Dillon on stage, Stage Beauty on film) as Desdemona and Lorraine Burroughs (The War Next Door, Fabulation, Anna in the Tropics) as Emilia.

Also at the Globe, Oliver Boot and Sally Bretton will reprise their performances as Abelard and Heloise in last summer’s hit In Extremis, Howard Brenton’s retelling of the French love story about a monk and his charge, which was nominated for Best New Play in this year’s Whatsonstage.com Awards. John Dove’s production returns for two weeks only from 15 to 26 May 2007. Also in the company are: John Bett, Eleanor Bron, Pascale Burgess, Tas Emiabata, Michael Gould, Colin Hurley, Jack Laskey, William Mannering, Niamh McCann, Simon Muller, Rhiannon Oliver and Andrew Vincent.

Further casting has also been confirmed for several productions in another summer season staple, the Chichester Festival, which this year runs in the West Sussex town from 12 April to 22 September (See News, 22 Feb 2007).

In Edward Kemp’s revival of Office Suite, Alan Bennett’s 1978 double bill of one-act plays (Green Forms and A Visit from Miss Prothero) about office life, Patricia Routledge and Edward Petherbridge will be joined by Jane Dale, Carole Street and David Bannerman. The production has already sold out for all its dates in Chichester, where it’s in the Minerva Theatre from 18 April 2007 (previews from 12 April) to 12 May 2007. It will then tour to Bath, Plymouth, Richmond, Salford, Glasgow and Malvern, where it finishes on 23 June.

In addition to David Suchet, the cast of Roger Crane’s Vatican-set thriller The Last Confession, will feature Joseph Mydell and Michael Cronin. Also in the cast are: Paul Foster, Maroussia Frank, John Franklin Robbins, Michael Jayston, Charles Kay, Joseph Long, Bernard Lloyd, Roger May, Christopher Mellows, Stuart Milligan, Richard O’Callaghan, Bruce Purchase and Clifford Rose. Directed by David Jones, it premiere on 8 May 2007 (previews from 27 April) in the Festival Theatre, where it continues until 19 May 2007.

Joining Lorna Luft (daughter of Judy Garland) in the cast of the season’s musical production, Rodgers and Hart’s 1937 classic Babes in Arms, will be West End veterans Mark McGee, Donna Steele, Sophia Ragavelas and Rolf Saxon. The company also comprises: Karen Aspinal, Stephanie Bron, Philip Catchpole, Kylie Anne Cruikshanks, Ashley Day, Charles Ruhrmund, Darren Fawthrop, Michelle Francis, Matthew Hart, Gary Murphy, Kay Murphy, Graham Newell, Joseph Prouse, Catherine Terry and Oliver Tydman. The production, running from 7 June (previews from 29 May) to 7 July 2007 in the Festival Theatre, is directed by Martin Connor and choreographed by Bill Deamer.

Other highlights in this year’s Chichester season, as previously reported See News, 22 Feb 2007), include Patrick Stewart in Twelfth Night and Macbeth, Peter Bowles in Anouilh’s The Waltz of the Toreadors, Mark Rylance in his own play The Big Secret Live "I Am Shakespeare" Webcam Daytime Chatroom Show, John Savident in Hobson’s Choice and Daniel Weyman reprising his title performance in last summer’s two-part hit Nicholas Nickleby. Further casting for those productions has yet to be announced.

- by Terri Paddock