John Nettles – best known from his long-running TV role in Midsomer Murders and awarded an OBE in this month’s Queen’s Birthday Honours List – will return to the stage after a long absence to star as Claudius/Ghost alongside Simm and Michelle Dockery (as Ophelia), Barbara Flynn (Gertrude), Colin Tierney (Horatio) and Hugh Ross (Polonius).
Also in the cast are: Dylan Brown (Rosencrantz), Adam Foster (Guildernstern), Ben Lamb (Voltemand/Player/Fortinbras), James Loye (Laertes/Lucianus), Joseph Mydell (Player King/Francisco/Captain), Harry Lister Smith (Cornelius) and Roderick Smith (Marcellus/Player/Priest).
The production is directed by Paul Miller and designed by Tom Scutt, with lighting by Oliver Fenwick and music and sound is by Ben and Max Ringham.
In other play casting news, Maxwell Caulfield – the star of Grease 2, Dynasty and The Colbys, who made his West End debut as Billy Flynn in Chicago in 2007 – will return to the UK stage to headline the five-month, post-West End tour of Alan Ayckbourn’s Seventies comedy Bedroom Farce. Also in the cast are: Juliet Mills (daughter of John Mills and Mary Hayley Bell, sister of Hayley Mills), Bruce Montague, Clare Wilkie, Julia Mallam, Ayden Callaghan and Natasha Alderslade.
Bedroom Farce centres on four couples who are at different stages in their relationships and whose lives intersect over the course of one very chaotic evening across three bedrooms.
Premiered at Ayckbourn’s Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough in 1975, the play had its London premiere at the National Theatre, directed by Peter Hall, in 1977 and subsequently transferred to the West End where it ran until September 1979.
Hall has also directed this revival, which started at the Rose, Kingston in October 2009 and just completed a three-month run at the West End’s Duke of York’s Theatre this past Saturday 19 June 2010. The tour opens 12 July at Milton Keynes Theatre and then continues to Cheltenham, Brighton, Woking, Glasgow, Leeds, Bromley, Shrewsbury, Worthing, Nottingham, Poole, Barnstaple, Blackpool, Edinburgh, Malvern, Mold, Guildford, Wolverhampton, Windsor and Cambridge, where the schedule concludes on 4 December.
Also outside the M25, Maureen Beattie will join Michael Pennington in Chichester Festival’s upcoming production of Ibsen’s 1893 classic The Master Builder. Not to be confused with the Almeida’s offering of the same play, starring Stephen Dillane and Gemma Arterton in November, Philip Franks’ production will run at Chichester’s Minerva Theatre from 15 September to 9 October 2010 (previews from 9 September). Beattie plays Aline Solness, wife of Pennington’s ageing architect, Harvard Solness.