Annis was last seen in the West End in the 2001 production of Ibsen's Ghosts. Her previous stage credits include playing opposite her now-partner Ralph Fiennes in Hamlet at the Hackney Empire and later on Broadway. She is also well known for her television appearances in Wives and Daughters and Reckless, for which she was nominated for a BAFTA for three years running.
In The Vortex, which runs from 5 December 2002 to 15 February 2003, Annis is joined by Evening Standard Best Newcomer 2000 winner Chiwetel Ejiofor (Blue/Orange) and Indira Varma (One for the Road, Remembrance of Things Past, The Country, Three Sisters and, about to open at the National, Ivanov).
Michael Sheen (pictured) was last seen on the London stage in the 1999 National Theatre revival of John Osborne's Look Back in Anger. Since then, he has concentrated on his burgeoning Hollywood career, with major releases of Shekar Kapur's The Four Feathers and Richard Donner's Timeline imminent. His previous stage credits include The Homecoming, The Ends of the Earth, Henry V, Peer Gynt and, in the West End and on Broadway, playing Mozart in Peter Hall's production of Amadeus.
In Caligula, newly translated from the French by David Greig and running at the Donmar from 24 April to 14 June 2003, Sheen plays the eponymous Roman emperor, an insane and incestuous tyrant who, following the death of his sister/lover dies, passes absurd laws and unleashes a killing spree.
- by Terri Paddock