Both James Bond veterans, Ms Bond and Bean have previously appeared together on screen in 1995's Golden Eye in which Bean played baddie Alec Trevelyan and Ms Bond appeared in her recurring role as 007's secretary Miss Moneypenny. Ms Bond is familiar to theatre audiences for playing the title role, opposite Dame Judi Dench, in David Hare's Amy's View at the National, in the West End and on Broadway. Her other recent stage credits include The Vagina Monologues, Dinner with Friends and The Memory of Water.
In addition to his Bond credentials, Bean is best known internationally for his other big screen credits, including Patriot Games, Ronin and now, The Lord of the Rings trilogy. In the UK, he's also a familiar television face from the likes of Bravo Two Zero, Lady Chatterley's Lover, Extremely Dangerous and the many Sharpe series. This new production of Macbeth will mark the actor's first stage appearance in 12 years.
"The Scottish Play" will also mark the third major West End production this year for director Edward Hall, son of Peter. Hall the Younger's revival of Somerset Maugham's The Constant Wife has now transferred to the Lyric after its initial limited season at the Apollo, and his Rose Rage, a two-part adaptation of Shakespeare's Henry VI trilogy, is playing at the Theatre Royal Haymarket.
Prior to London, Macbeth will visit Milton Keynes (16 to 26 October) and Richmond (28 October to 2 November). At the Albery in the West End, it's limited season will continue until 1 February 2003. Other casting and creative information has yet to be confirmed.
- by Terri Paddock