THREE-TIME TONY AWARD®-WINNER AND ACADEMY AWARD®-WINNER
TO STAR IN SHAKESPEARE’S GLOBE’S PRODUCTION OF
FARINELLI AND THE KING
A NEW PLAY BY CLAIRE VAN KAMPEN
DIRECTED BY JOHN DOVE
Mark Rylance, three-time Tony Award winner (Jerusalem, Boeing-Boeing, Twelfth Night) and Academy Award-winner (Bridge of Spies), will return to Broadway in the critically acclaimed Shakespeare’s Globe production of FARINELLI AND THE KING, a new play with music by author and composer Claire van Kampen.
The production, directed by John Dove, designed by Jonathan Fensom, with musical arrangements also by Claire van Kampen, will play a limited run at Broadway’s Belasco Theatre (111 West 44th Street, between Sixth Avenue and Broadway). Previews will begin December 5, 2017 in advance of an opening night on Sunday, December 17, 2017. The production plays a strictly limited engagement through Sunday, March 25, 2018.
FARINELLI AND THE KING originally premiered to rave reviews and played a sold out run at Shakespeare’s Globe’s Sam Wanamaker Playhouse in February 2015. The production later played a sold out engagement in the West End in Fall 2015, where it was the highest grossing show in the history of the Duke of York’s Theatre, and received six Olivier Award nominations.
King Philippe V of Spain (Mark Rylance), plagued by insomnia, lies awake in his chamber. The Queen, desperate for a cure, hears of Farinelli - a castrato with a voice so divine it has the power to captivate all who hear it. Philippe is astonished when Farinelli sings, and begs him to stay. But will Farinelli, one of the greatest celebrities of his time, choose a life of solitude over fame and fortune in the opera houses of Europe? In its five-star review, The Independent hailed FARINELLI AND THE KING as a “profoundly funny and haunting meditation on the power of music in a pitch-perfect production by John Dove. Mark Rylance’s Phillipe is like the love child of Stan Laurel and Hamlet.”
FARINELLI AND THE KING returns Mark Rylance to the Belasco, where he triumphed with the double bill staging of Twelfth Night and Richard III in the 2013-2014 season. Mark Rylance won his third Tony Award for his performance as Olivia in Twelfth Night and was also Tony nominated for his performance in the title role of Richard III. FARINELLI AND THE KING is Mark Rylance’s first return to Broadway since he won the 2016 Academy Award for his performance in Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies.
The production will feature London cast members Sam Crane (1984, BBC’s “Desperate Romantics”) as Farinelli, Huss Garbiya (Some People, A Midsummer’s Night Dream at Shakespeare’s Globe) as Doctor José Cervi, Colin Hurley (Twelfth Night/Richard III) as Metastasio, and Edward Peel (“London’s Burning,” A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Shakespeare’s Globe) as De La Cuadra, with additional casting to be announced.
The production also stars Grammy Award-winning countertenor Iestyn Davies as the singing voice of Farinelli. Mr. Davies has performed at the Metropolitan Opera House, Carnegie Hall, The Royal Opera House and La Scala. He also stars in the Metropolitan Opera’s North American premiere of The Exterminating Angel in October. He will make his Broadway debut in FARINELLI AND THE KING. Mr. Davies will share the singing role of Farinelli with another artist to be announced.
Sonia Friedman Productions, Shakespeare’s Globe and Paula Marie Black join forces once again (Richard III and Twelfth Night) to bring this inspiring true story, featuring many of the exquisite arias by Handel first sung by Farinelli in the 1730s, to a magically transformed Belasco Theatre. Music will be played live on Baroque instruments in a gallery above the stage, lit almost exclusively by the glow of candlelight.
The production will also offer several rows of on-stage seating. Theatregoers who choose the on-stage seating will have an up-close and intimate experience.