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Barrie Rutter to play The Emperor in The Captive Queen in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

Casting news

SHAKESPEARE’S Globe has announced that Barrie Rutter will play the role of The Emperor in his forthcoming production of The Captive Queen. A Shakespeare’s Globe and Northern Broadsides co-production, it runs in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse from February 2 to March 4, 2018.

A reimagining of John Dryden’s Restoration drama Aureng-zebe (1675), The Captive Queen is set in the woollen mills of the North of England in the late 20th century, but retains a flavour of Dryden’s original Mughal Indian setting.

An ageing Emperor and his Governor rage at the loss of their youth and beauty, whilst two fratricidal sons are spurred from victory in war to the warfare of love. All four are besotted with the same captive queen in this wry exploration of the folly of old age, the allure of power, and the bewildering effects of lust and desire.

In addition to his career as an actor at the National Theatre and the RSC, Barrie Rutter is best known as the founder of multi-award-winning touring company Northern Broadsides. Based in the historic Dean Clough in West Yorkshire, the company has built up a formidable reputation, with a repertoire combining Shakespeare, European and English Classic plays, as well as new writing. Productions are noted for their distinctive northern voice, strong musicality and clear narrative journey.

On stage, Rutter has played roles ranging from Falstaff in The Merry Wives of Windsor and Prospero in The Tempest (Northern Broadsides) to Hobson in Hobson’s Choice (Sheffield Crucible) and Napoleon in Animal Farm (National Theatre). He is currently touring in the Northern Broadsides production of For Love or Money by Blake Morrison.

Rutter’s television credits include Porridge, The Liver Birds and Fat Friends. In 2003, he won the Sam Wanamaker Award, and in 2015, he received an OBE for services to the arts. The Captive Queen will mark his final production with Northern Broadsides, where he will step down as Artistic Director in April 2018.

The Captive Queen will be designed by Jessica Worrall and composed by Niraj Chag.

Read more about the 2017 Winter Season in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.