Julian Glover - last seen at the Old Vic alongside artistic director Kevin Spacey in Trevor Nunn’s recently finished production of Richard II - will return to the South Bank venue next month to lead the home-grown cast in a new British-Iraqi version of Stravinsky’s The Soldier's Tale, which has a strictly limited season from 30 January (previews from 26 January) to 4 February 2006 (See News, 8 Sep 2005).

A co-production between the Old Vic and the Motion Group, the project started life in November 2004 with a one-off staging at the Old Vic of Jeremy Sams’ existing translation of Stravinsky’s drama, performed by a cast including Jeremy Irons, Hugh Dancy and Nicholas Le Prevost. The Motion Group then travelled to Baghdad where it developed the project in collaboration with a British-Iraqi company of actors and musicians (See News, 15 Oct 2004).

This new Arabic/Israeli version - translated by Abdul Karim Kasid and Critics’ Circle Award winner Rebecca Lenkiewicz (The Night Season and Shoreditch Madonna) and performed by a cross-national ensemble - premiered at the National Theatre of Iraq in Baghdad this past autumn.

In addition to Richard II, Glover starred in this year’s West End revival of The Dresser, directed by Peter Hall. His many other recent stage credits include King Lear, Phedre, Britannicus, Waiting for Godot, An Inspector Calls, Macbeth, Coriolanus, Taking Sides and Henry VI Parts I, II and III.

In the cast of The Soldier's Tale, Glover is joined by Martin Marquez (Anything Goes, I Caught My Death in Venice, Snowbull) and Ciaran McMenamin as well as Iraqi cast members Alaa Rasheed, Flaah Al Flayeh and Deaa Al Deen. The production is directed by Andrew Steggall, artistic director of the Motion Group, which is supported by the Louise T Blouin Foundation.

Currently at the Old Vic, Aladdin - starring Roger Allam, Frances Barber and Ian McKellen as panto dame Widow Twankey – finishes its festive season on 22 January 2006.

- by Terri Paddock