In honor of William Shakespeare’s 450th birthday, Disney Theatrical and Sonia Friedman Productions today announced its initial cast for ‘Shakespeare in Love’ which begins performances on July 2, 2014 at the Noel Coward Theatre in London with an opening date of July 23.
The announced casting is as follows: Ian Bartholomew will play Tilney, Tony Bell will play Ralph, Anna Carteret will play Queen Elizabeth, Paul Chahidi will play Henslowe, David Ganley will play Burbage, Richard Howard will play Sir Robert De Lesseps, Harry Jardine will play Sam, Abigail McKern will play Nurse, David Oakes will play Marlowe, Patrick Osborne will play Mr Wabash, Alistair Petrie will play Wessex, Doug Rao will play Ned Alleyn, Ferdy Roberts will play Fennyman and Colin Ryan will play John Webster. They are joined by an ensemble including Daisy Boulton, Ryan Donaldson, Janet Fullerlove, Sandy Murray, Timothy O’Hara, Thomas Padden, Elliott Rennie, Charlie Tighe and Tim Van Eyken who will also be musical director. Gaiety will play Crab the dog. Further casting is still to be announced.
They join the previously announced Tom Bateman who will play Will Shakespeare and Lucy Briggs-Owen who will play Viola De Lesseps.
Based on the Academy Award-winning screenplay by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard, Shakespeare in Love has been adapted for the stage by Lee Hall (Billy Elliot). Featuring a company of 30 actors and musicians, this new play will be directed by Declan Donnellan and designed by Nick Ormerod, the driving force behind the world-renowned theatre company, Cheek by Jowl. Shakespeare in Love will be produced by Disney and Sonia Friedman Productions.
Promising young playwright Will Shakespeare is tormented by writer’s block until he finds his muse in the form of passionate noblewoman, Viola De Lesseps. Their forbidden love draws many others, including Queen Elizabeth, into the drama and inspires Will to write the greatest love story of all time, Romeo and Juliet.