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Mark Rylance to appear in I Am Shakespeare at the Old Vic

The one-off rehearsed reading will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Shakespearean Authorship Trust

Mark Rylance
© Gavin Watson

Mark Rylance is heading to the Old Vic next month!

The stage veteran will star in a special, one-off rehearsed reading of his first play I Am Shakespeare. He will be joined on stage by Sean Foley as Barry Wild, Alex Hassell as Edward de Vere, Colin Hurley as William Shakspar, Sam Parks as Sergeant Trevor Freeman/His Twin/Telephone Salesman, Juliet Rylance as Lady Mary Sidney and Mark Rylance as Frank Charlton, reuniting the original cast from the 2007 premiere.

The piece will be narrated by Annabel Leventon and feature music by Claire van Kampen.

Rylance commented: "This is the first play I wrote for Chichester Festival Theatre in 2007 after leaving The Globe. Matthew Warchus directed, and the company developed the idea. I wrote about something I knew about, the Shakespeare Authorship Question and the many wonderful people I have met who support different candidates. It is a question some people take very seriously and that makes it a good subject matter for comedy. The play says everything I want to say about the question.

"I am delighted to revive it for the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Shakespearean Authorship Trust, who financed the authentic recreation of clothing for the four candidates who appear in the play: Francis Bacon, The Earl of Oxford, Mary Sidney and of course William Shakespeare himself. Jenny Tiramani, director of the School of Historical Dress in Lambeth, and my associate designer during my time at the Globe, painstakingly researched and constructed these authentic clothes. They will be on show at the Old Vic. Kirk Douglas, Sir Laurence Olivier and Tony Curtis will all be appearing as well."

I Am Shakespeare will be staged on Sunday 27 November at 3pm.

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