Why See Player Kings?
Sir Ian returns
Sir Ian McKellen once more proves that age is no barrier to the stage as he returns to tread the boards in this new play adapted and directed by Robert Icke. A reimagining of William Shakespeare's Henry VI Parts I and II that distills the two plays into one, McKellen will once again take on the Bard's work as Sir John Falstaff, friend of young Hal and partner in mischief.
Speaking on this new venture, McKellen reminisced: "I decided to become a professional actor at Cambridge in 1959, when I was in John Barton's undergraduate production of Henry IV. Derek Jacobi played Prince Hal and I was the ancient Justice Shallow. Ever since, the plays have been among my favourite Shakespeares, although through the years I've resisted offers to play John Falstaff. Robert Icke's ingenious adaptation was irresistible."
At the sprightly age of 84, McKellen remains a stage stalwart, most recently delighting audiences alongside Roger Allam in the two-hander Frank and Percy.
Who is Falstaff?
A presence in three of Shakespeare's plays, Sir John Falstaff is depicted as a rotund, jolly presence for whom mischief comes easily. Be it leading the young prince astray in Henry VI, or wooing women with various scams, his schemes and outlook make him an audience favourite whenever he appears.
Opening night: 1 March 2024
You may be required to wear a mask during this performance. Please contact the venue directly for more information.
Cast and Creative
Ian McKellen as John Falstaff
Adapted and directed by Robert Icke
Design by Hildegard Bechtler
Lighting by Lee Curran
Sound by Gareth Fry
Casting by Julia Horan
Fighting design by Kev McCurdy
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