Theatre News

Cast announced for Kathryn Hunter's Napoleon Disrobed UK tour

Told by an Idiot will adapt Simon Leys’ novella for a UK tour

Paul Hunter and Ayesha Antoine
Paul Hunter and Ayesha Antoine

The cast has been announced for Told by an Idiot's Napoleon Disrobed, which opens at Theatre Royal Plymouth before a run at London's Arcola Theatre and spells in Birmingham and Scarborough.

Told by an Idiot co-founder and artistic director Paul Hunter and Ayesha Antoine (Red Velvet, Dirty Great Love Story) star, with direction from Olivier Award-winner Kathryn Hunter. The latter Hunter's recent acting credits include Cyrano de Bergerac at the Southwark Playhouse and Kafka's Monkey at the Young Vic.

Both Hunters previously collaborated on My Perfect Mind, which toured from 2013 to 2015, picking up a five-star review from WhatsOnStage.

The play, based on Simon Leys' 1991 novella The Death of Napoleon, is a comic interpretation of the final years of French figure Napoleon Bonaparte and how his legend came to be formed.

Director Hunter says: "When Paul gave me The Death of Napoleon to read, I was immediately caught by the author's wit and playfulness. The story is not a serious historical proposition but a pretext to ask questions about how we live and what we regard as important in our lives. I am so excited to be creating this adaptation with Paul and Ayesha.

"Paul is pure comic genius, whose seemingly infinite invention often leaves me speechless in rehearsal. Ayesha is a performer of huge depth, strength and versatility. Together they will make a formidable pair."

Napoleon Disrobed runs at Theatre Royal Plymouth from 1 February to 10 February with previews from 25 January. It then transfers to London's Arcola Theatre from 14 February to 10 March, before touring to Birmingham Rep (15 to 17 March) and Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough (20 to 24 March).