Iain Glen, Lisa Dillon and Benedict Cumberbatch have joined the cast of Richard Eyre’s new version of Henrik Ibsen’s 1890 classic Hedda Gabler at the Almeida Theatre (See News, 10 May 2004). Starring Critics’ Circle Best Actress winner Eve Best (Mourning Becomes Electra, Three Sisters, The Coast of Utopia) in the title role, it runs from 16 March to 30 April 2005 (previews from 10 March).

Set in the Norwegian home of newlyweds George and Hedda Tesman near the turn of the 20th century, Hedda Gabler reveals a passionate woman struggling in a bourgeois world that she finds devoid of excitement.

Cumberbatch, who plays George Tesman, returns to the Almeida where he appeared in last year’s revival of Ibsen’s The Lady from the Sea. His other credits include Oh What a Lovely War on stage and, on screen, the title role in Hawking. Dillon, who plays Thea Elvsted, won the 2004 Ian Charleson Award and the Critics’ Circle Most Promising Newcomer Award for her performances in Iphigenia at Sheffield and The Master Builder in the West End. Earlier this year, she was seen, opposite Antony Sher, in Othello for the RSC.

Glen, who plays Judge Brack, has most recently been seen on stage in The Seagull, A Streetcar Named Desire and The Blue Room. His screen credits include Gorillas in the Mist, Paris by Night, Wives and Daughters and Trial and Retribution. Also in the cast are Gillian Raine (Juliana Tesman) and Jamie Sives (Eilert Lovborg).

Hedda Gabler is adapted and directed by Richard Eyre, who was NT artistic director from 1988 to 1997 and whose other recent credits include the multi award-winning Vincent in Brixton and, just opened this week in London, the musical Mary Poppins on stage and Iris on screen. The Almeida production is designed by Rob Howell with lighting by Peter Mumford.

Currently at the Almeida, the world premiere of Peter Whelan’s The Earthly Paradise continues until 8 January 2005 and is followed, from 20 January to 5 March 2005 (previews from 13 January) by John Caird’s production of Macbeth, starring Simon Russell Beale in the title role and Emma Fielding as Lady Macbeth (See News, 8 Oct 2004).

- by Terri Paddock