Farinelli and the King originally played at Shakespeare’s Globe and will be produced in the West End by Sonia Friedman Productions and Shakespeare’s Globe in association with Tulchin Bartner Productions and 1001 Nights.
The play is directed by John Dove and designed by Jonathan Fensom with musical arrangements also by Claire van Kampen. Mark Rylance reprises his role as King Philippe V of Spain and Sam Crane once again plays the acting role of Farinelli. The singing role of Farinelli is reprised by opera star Iestyn Davies and shared with Rupert Enticknap and Owen Willetts*. The cast also includes Huss Garbiya playing Doctor Jose Cervi, Melody Grove playing Isabella Farnese, Colin Hurley playing Metastasio and Edward Peel playing De la Cuadra.
The Duke of York’s Theatre has been transformed for the play as the magical and intimate atmosphere of the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse is brought to the West End with onstage seating and candles. Live Baroque music will be played by six onstage musicians, led by Harpsichordist and Musical Director Robert Howarth.
Set in eighteenth-century Spain, Claire van Kampen's play tells the intriguing true story of Farinelli, once the world’s most famous castrato and one of the greatest celebrities of his time, and his decision to trade fame and fortune in the opera houses of Europe for a life of servitude at the court of King Philippe V. Farinelli and the King explores the dynamics between Farinelli and the royal couple and features many of the exquisite arias by Handel, that were first sung by Farinelli in the 1730’s.
The West End production will run from 14th September 2015 and play for a strictly limited season until 5th December 2015. Opening Night will be on Tuesday 29th September 2015.
*Please see website for full performance schedule.