His current acclaimed revival of Rattigan’s Flare Path starring Sienna Miller, Sheridan Smith and James Purefoy, has – as previously tipped – extended a week until 11 June, taking it through the centenary of Rattigan’s actual date of birth (10 June 1911). It will be followed, as reported last week, by Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead from 21 June to 20 August 2011 (previews from 16 June) and The Tempest, starring Ralph Fiennes as the sorcerer Prospero, from 6 September to 29 October 2011 (previews from 27 August).
Commenting on his programme to date, Nunn said: “For my first season as artistic director of the Theatre Royal Haymarket, I have chosen three very different projects. Having begun with one of Rattigan’s first plays, the semi-autobiographical Flare Path, last performed in the West End in 1943, I am then realising a 40-year-old dream by at last directing Tom Stoppard’s first masterpiece Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead with Samuel Barnett as Rosencrantz, Jamie Parker as Guildenstern and Tim Curry as The Player. This will be followed by my first production of Shakespeare’s last play The Tempest, which will give me also my first opportunity to work with Ralph Fiennes.”
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead starts at this summer’s Chichester Festival, running for three weeks from 31 May to 11 June (previews from 20 May) before the West End.
Stoppard’s existential comedy turns the spotlight onto the apparently inconsequential experiences of the two minor courtiers in Hamlet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, who are by turn comic, tragic and philosophical as they try to make sense of the pointless and arbitrary nature of their own existence. Premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe before being picked up by the National Theatre and then given its London premiere at the Old Vic (where the National was then based), Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead was Stoppard’s first major success.
Barnett and Parker also had their breakthroughs at the National, starring as Posner and Scripps in the NT’s 2004 premiere of Alan Bennett’s The History Boys, roles they went on to reprise on Broadway, on tour and on screen in NT artistic director Nicholas Hytner’s 2006 film.
Tim Curry returns to the London stage for the first time since originating the role of King Arthur in the West End premiere of Monty Python’s Spamalot, a role he created on Broadway, which won him a Whatsonstage.com Award. His myriad other credits include the The Rocky Horror Show, Annie, Addams Family Reunion, Kinsey, Cranfor, Will and Grace and Wise Guy on screen, and The Rocky Horror Show, The Threepenny Opera, Amadeus, My Favourite Year and Travesties on stage.
Barnett, Parker and Curry will be joined in the cast by: Chris Andrew Mellon (The Player King), Michael Benz (Horatio), Fiona Gillies (Gertrude), Tom Golding (Fortinbras), Charles Hamblett (Alfred), Jack Hawkins (Hamlet), Andrew Jarvis (Polonius/Ambassador), Katherine Press (Ophelia) and James Simmons (Claudius) as well as Trevor Allan Davies, Tomm Coles, Jody Elin Machin, Zac Fox, Elisabeth Hopper, Greg Last, James Northcote and Stephen Pallister.
No further casting or creatives have yet been announced for The Tempest. Ralph Fiennes starred at the Haymarket in the 2003 production of Ibsen’s Brand. His other most recent stage credits include Oedipus, The Talking Cure, God of Carnage, Ivanov, Richard II and Coriolanus in London, and Faith Healer in Dublin and on Broadway.
Further productions in Nunn’s Haymarket season will also be announced shortly.