Old Vic stages Rattigan's Winslow Boy, Cattrall in Sweet Bird & Rylance Much Ado
The season opens on 19 March 2013 (previews from 8 March), with Olivier Award-winning director Lindsay Posner's new producion of Rattigan's The Winslow Boy. The 1946 play is based on the true story of a father’s fight to clear his son's name when he is expelled from Naval College after being convicted of theft.
Posner returns to the Old Vic following his acclaimed revival of Noises Off last Christmas, which subsequently transferred to the West End and will tour the UK from March. His other recent credits include Uncle Vanya (Vaudeville), Butley (Duchess), House of Games (Almeida), A View From the Bridge (Duke of York's) and Carousel (Savoy).
The Winslow Boy is designed by Peter McKintosh, with casting to be confirmed.
Cattrall will play fading Hollywood legend Alexandra Del Lago, ravaged by the bitterness of failure and despair. Fleeing the disastrous premiere of her comeback film, she travels incognito as The Princess Kosmonopolis seeking refuge in drink and drugs and the arms of Chance Wayne, an idealistic young dreamer turned gigolo and hellbent on achieving his own movie stardom.
British-born Cattrall is best known for her portrayal of Samantha in Sex and the City but has recently returned to the UK stage in Antony and Cleopatra and Private Lives. Marianne Elliott is a multi award-winning director whose credits include The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, Season's Greetings and War Horse (all for the National Theatre).
Finally, from 19 September 2013 (previews from 7 September), Mark Rylance directs James Earl Jones and Vanessa Redgrave as reluctant lovers Beatrice and Benedick in Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing.
Redgrave and Earl Jones, who take on these roles for the first time (though they are usually played by actors in their 30s and 40s), reunite following their collaboration in last year's Whatsonstage.com Award winning West End and Broadway revival of Alfred Uhry's Driving Miss Daisy.
Rylance can currently be seen starring the West End transfer of the Globe's acclaimed productions of Richard III and Twelfth Night at the Apollo Theatre. His other recent credits include his Olivier Award-winning portrayal of Johnny 'Rooster' Byron in Jez Butterworth's Jerusalem, which originated at the Royal Court before going on to the West End and Broadway.
Old Vic artistic director Kevin Spacey, who has been with the venue since 2004, commented: "The Old Vic has always been first and foremost an actors' theatre, a home for great talent and memorable performances. We're so proud of where we have gotten to in nine seasons, and for me this new season of work shows just how far The Old Vic has come."