Further casting has been announced for upcoming plays at three of London’s leading subsidised houses.

At the Donmar Warehouse, Frank Langella (pictured) will play Richard Nixon opposite, as already announced (See News, 6 Dec 2006), Michael Sheen as David Frost in the world premiere of Peter Morgan’s play inspired by the bruising 1977 interview in which the British TV presenter tried to get the disgraced former US president to apologise for his crimes. Langella was last seen on the London stage in Ken Ludwig farce Over the Moon at the Old Vic five years ago, when he famously walked out on his co-star Joan Collins (See News, 29 Oct 2001).

A multi award-winning Broadway veteran, Langella’s many New York stage credits include Match, Fortune’s Fool, Present Laughter, The Father, Hurlyburly, Design for Living, Passion, Amadeus, Yerma, Seascape and Dracula. On screen, he’s been seen in Dracula, 1492, Body of Evidence, Bad Company, Good Night and Good Luck and the upcoming Superman Returns.

Directed by Donmar artistic director Michael Grandage, Frost/Nixon runs from 15 August to 7 October 2006 (previews from 10 August). It is the first stage play by Peter Morgan whose television credits include Metropolis, Colditz, The Jury and The Deal, in which Sheen played Prime Minister Tony Blair (and coincidentally filmed while he was performing in Grandage’s 2003 Donmar production of Caligula).

At the National Theatre (See News, 15 Feb 2006), Simon Russell Beale will be joined in the cast of The Life of Galileo by Oliver Ford Davies (Racing Demon, King Lear, Absolutely! Perhaps) as the Cardinal Inquisitor. The cast also features Andrew Woodall (currently in The Voysey Inheritance in the NT Lyttelton), Zubin Varla, Tim McMullan, Duncan Bell and Elisabeth Dermot Walsh.

The third production in this year’s Travelex £10 Season in the NT Olivier, following Trevor Nunn’s revival of Peter Shaffer’s The Royal Hunt of the Sun and Rufus Norris’ premiere of David Eldridge’s Market Boy - The Life of Galileo opens on 6 July 2006 (previews from 28 June). Simon Russell Beale takes the title role as the 17th-century mathematician and astronomer whose discovery that the earth revolves around the sun brings him into dangerous conflict with the Church. Howard Davies directs Bertolt Brecht’s 1938 classic, in a version by David Hare first seen at the Almeida in 1994.

Also in the cast are: Ryan Watson, Bryan Dick, Julia Ford, Dermot Kerrigan, Bertie Carvel, Jamie Manton, Tristan Beint, Ian Barritt, Simon Merrells, Christopher Gilling, Amit Shah, Sam Spruell, Marcus Cunningham, Sarah Annis, Natalie Best, Lucy Vandi and Steven Williams.

At the Royal Court’s Jerwood Theatre Downstairs, Rufus Sewell, Brian Cox and Sinead Cusack will be joined in Trevor Nunn’s world premiere production of Tom Stoppard’s latest, Rock 'n' Roll by Edward Hogg (Woyzeck, The Pillowman), Nicole Ansari, Louise Bangay, Anthony Calf, Martin Chamberlain, Miranda Colchester, Alice Eve and Peter Sullivan.

Rock 'n' Roll spans the recent history of Czechoslovakia between the Prague Spring and the Velvet Revolution - but from the double perspective of Prague, where a rock 'n' roll band came to symbolise resistance to the regime, and the British left, represented by a Communist philosopher at Cambridge. After its initial Sloane Square dates from 14 June (previews from 3 June) to 15 July 2006 as part of the Royal Court’s year-long 50th anniversary season, the play will move on to the West End’s Duke of York’s Theatre for a limited season from 22 July (See News, 18 Apr 2006).

- by Terri Paddock