The Box Office opens today at 9am for the inaugural season of the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company. The Company presents Plays at the Garrick, a series of plays that bring together an exciting group of actors, led by Rob Brydon, Judi Dench, Lily James and Richard Madden. Performances begin on 17 October 2015.
THE WINTERʼS TALE
By William Shakespeare
17 October 2015 – 16 January 2016
Press performance: 7 November 2pm
Shakespeareʼs timeless tragicomedy of obsession and redemption is reimagined in a new production co-directed by Rob Ashford and Kenneth Branagh, following their triumphant staging of Macbeth in Manchester and Manhattan. Judi Dench will play Paulina, Kenneth Branagh will play Leontes.
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by Terence Rattigan
24 October 2015 – 13 January 2016
Press performance: 7 November 7.30pm
In this rarely seen comic gem, a classical theatre company attempts to produce The Winter’s Tale and Romeo and Juliet, while the intrigues and dalliances of the company members are accidently revealed with increasingly chaotic and hysterical consequences… The behind-the-scenes world takes centre stage in Terence Rattiganʼs affectionate celebration of the lunatic art of putting on a play. Kenneth Branagh will perform and co-direct with Rob Ashford.
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by Francis Veber
In an adaptation by Sean Foley
5 March 2016 – 30 April 2016
Press performance: 17 March 7pm
Two men. Two lonely hotel rooms. An adjoining door…
One of them is a killer… one of them wants to die… What could possibly go wrong?
Sean Foley directs his darkly hilarious adaptation of Francis Veberʼs classic French farce as Kenneth Branagh and Rob Brydon reprise the roles they played to great acclaim at Belfast’s Lyric Theatre in this comic tour-de-force.
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ROMEO AND JULIET
By William Shakespeare
12 May 2016 – 13 August 2016
Press performance: 25 May 7pm
Reuniting the stars of his celebrated film of Cinderella, Kenneth Branagh directs Richard Madden and Lily James who play the leads in Shakespeareʼs heartbreaking tale of forbidden love.
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By John Osborne
20 August 2016 – 12 November 2016
Press performance: 30 August 7pm
Set against the backdrop of post-war Britain, John Osborneʼs modern classic conjures the seedy glamour of the old music halls for an explosive examination of public masks and private torment. Rob Ashford directs Kenneth Branagh as the unforgettable Archie Rice.
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Rob Ashford is a Tony, Olivier and Emmy Award-winning American director and choreographer. His stage credits include Macbeth (Manchester International Festival), A Streetcar Named Desire,Parade (both Donmar Warehouse), Evita (London & Broadway), How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Broadway) and A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum(National Theatre). On screen, Rob has choreographed and staged the 2015 Academy Awards with Neil Patrick Harris, the 2014 Academy Awards with Ellen DeGeneres, and the 2013 Academy Awards with Seth MacFarlane. For the Academy Awards 2009 Rob was awarded the Emmy Award for Best Choreography for his work on Baz Luhrmann’s production number featuring Hugh Jackman and Beyoncé. He has also choreographed the opening number for The Tony Awards starring Neil Patrick Harris for the past 4 years as well as devising the choreography for the recent adaption of Cinderella and Beyond The Sea directed by Kevin Spacey. Rob is an Associate Director at The Old Vic Theatre in London and is a Trustee of The Joyce Theatre in New York City.
Kenneth Branagh is an award-winning actor, director, producer and screenwriter. Branagh’s stage acting credits include Another Country, Henry V, Golden Girls, three productions of Hamlet, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Romeo and Juliet (also directed), Public Enemy, As You Like It, Much Ado About Nothing, Look Back in Anger, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (also directed), King Lear (also directed), Coriolanus, Richard III, Edmond, Ivanov, The Painkiller and Macbeth (also co-directed). The plays he has directed also include John Sessions’ The Life of Napoleon and Napoleon, The American Story, Twelfth Night, Uncle Vanya, The Play What I Wrote, and Ducktastic.
In addition to his career on stage, Branagh’s film credits include Henry V, Dead Again, Peter’s Friends, Much Ado About Nothing, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, In the Bleak Midwinter, Othello, Hamlet, The Gingerbread Man, Theory of Flight, Celebrity, Wild Wild West, El Dorado, Love’s Labour’s Lost, How to Kill Your Neighbour’s Dog, Rabbit Proof Fence, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, As You Like It, The Magic Flute, Sleuth, Valkyrie, The Boat that Rocked, Thor, My Week with Marilyn, Jack Ryan, and Cinderella for Disney. His television credits include The Billy Plays, The Boy in the Bush, Fortunes of War, Shadow of a Gunman, Conspiracy, Shackleton, Warm Springs, 10 Days to War, and Wallander. His writing credits include two plays, Tell Me Honestly and Public Enemy; his autobiography, Beginning; and a number of screen adaptations: Shakespeare’s Henry V, Much Ado About Nothing, Hamlet, Love’s Labour’s Lost, As You Like It, In The Bleak Midwinter and Mozart’s The Magic Flute. Branagh has received five Academy Award® nominations.
Sean Foley is an award-winning actor, writer and director. He co-founded The Right Size, creating over ten original comedies for the theatre including the Olivier Award-winning and Tony-nominated production of The Play What I Wrote (Best Comedy 2002), Do You Come Here Often? (Best Entertainment 1999), and Ducktastic! (Albery Theatre – Best Entertainment nomination 2006). As director his work includes Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense (Best New Comedy 2014), The Walworth Farce (The Olympia Theatre, Dublin), the multi Olivier-nominated The Ladykillers (Liverpool Everyman, Gielgud Theatre, UK Tour), A Mad World My Masters (Royal Shakespeare Company & Barbican), What The Butler Saw (Vaudeville Theatre), The Painkiller (The Lyric Theatre, Belfast), Arturo Brachetti – Change (Garrick – Best Entertainment nomination 2010) , The Critic/The Real Inspector Hound (Chichester Festival Theatre), The Armstrong and Miller Show Live UK Tour and I Can’t Sing! (London Palladium).
Christopher Oram is an Award winning designer whose previous credits include his work on Man and Superman (National Theatre), Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies (Royal Shakespeare Company, Aldwych Theatre & Broadway), Macbeth (Manchester International Festival), Red (Donmar Warehouse, Golden NYC & Los Angeles), King Lear (Donmar Warehouse & BAM) and Billy Budd (Glyndebourne & BAM). Christopher also designed Privates on Parade, Peter and Alice, The Cripple of Inishmaan (also NYC), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, & Henry V (all Noel Coward Theatre) for the inaugural season of the Michael Grandage Company. Christopher is the recipient of an Evening Standard Award for Caligula (2003), Olivier Award for Power (2004) and Wolf Hall, and a Tony Award for Red (2010),
Rob Brydon first came to the public’s attention in 2000 with the shows Marion and Geoff and Human Remains, winning British Comedy Awards for both. Since then his screen credits have included Black Books, I’m Alan Partridge, Little Britain, The Trip, The Trip to Italy, Gavin and Stacey, Kenneth Tynan: In Praise of Hardcore, 24 Hour Party People and A Cock and Bull Story. In 2015, Rob will appear in new HBO series The Brink alongside Jack Black and Tim Robbins, Disney’s Cinderella, and will film in The Hunstman for Universal. In 2011 Rob made his theatre debut playing opposite Kenneth Branagh in The Painkiller (The Lyric Theatre, Belfast), and in 2012 appeared in the West End in Alan Ayckbourn’s A Chorus of Disapproval (Harold Pinter Theatre).
Since playing Ophelia in Hamlet at The Old Vic Theatre 58 years ago, Judi Dench has garnered wide popular and critical admiration for a career marked by outstanding performances in both classical and contemporary roles. Judi has won numerous major awards including an Academy Award, ten BAFTA Awards and a record six Laurence Olivier Awards.
Recognised globally for her legendary role as M in seven James Bond films, Judi’s other iconic film roles include Mrs Brown, Iris, Mrs Henderson Presents and Shakespeare in Love. Judi’s achievements on screen are mirrored by her celebrated career on stage. She has won Olivier Awards for Macbeth and Juno and the Paycock for the RSC; Pack of Lies at the London Lyric; and Anthony and Cleopatra, Absolute Hell, and A Little Night Music, all at The National Theatre. Her performance in David Hare’s Amy’s View, directed by Richard Eyre, brought her a Critics Circle Award and an Olivier Award nomination when it played in London at The National and Aldwych, followed by a Tony Award for Best Actress when the play transferred to Broadway. Most recently she was nominated for an Olivier Award for her 2013 West End stage performance in Peter and Alice, directed by Michael Grandage.
In addition to her work with the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company, Judi’s upcoming projects include Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, directed by Tim Burton and based on Ransom Riggs’s novel. Judi can currently in cinemas in the stellar returning cast of The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel which follows up on the hugely successful India-set comedy The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
Lily James is an actress of stage and screen who came to international prominence in Downton Abbey as Lady Rose and who has recently won acclaim for her role in Kenneth Branagh’s 2015 production of Cinderella in which she played the title character. Having graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 2010, Lily’s stage credits include Desdemona in Othello(Sheffield Crucible), The Seagull (Southwark Playhouse), Vernon God Little (Young Vic) and Martin Crimp’s Play House and Definitely the Bahamas (both Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond). Lily’s upcoming projects include the BBC and The Weinstein Company’s production of War and Peacewhich also stars Paul Dano and Jim Broadbent and the feature adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies in which she stars alongside Sam Riley, Charles Dance, Matt Smith and Douglas Booth.
Richard Madden is best known for his compelling role of Robb Stark in the globally acclaimed HBO series Game of Thrones and for his role as Prince Kit in Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella. A graduate of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Richard’s roles on stage include Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare’s Globe), Noughts and Crosses (Royal Shakespeare Company) and John Tiffany’s Be Near Me (Donmar Warehouse). In addition to Game of Thrones, Richard has also been seen on screen in Abi Morgan’s television adaption of Sebastian Faulk’s Birdsong and the Discovery Channel’s original mini-series Klondike. Richard’s future work on screen includes BBC One’s adaptation of Lady Chatterley’s Lover in which he stars oppose Holliday Grainger and Focus Feature’s action-thriller Bastille Day alongside Idris Elba.
Photos: Johan Persson