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Michael Pennington leads the cast of The Tempest at Jermyn Street Theatre

The Tempest

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

MICHAEL Pennington, one of the leading Shakespearean actors of his generation, plays Prospero for the first time in Jermyn Street Theatre’s staging of Shakespeare’s final work The Tempest, which runs from Wednesday, March 11 to Saturday, April 4, 2020.

The production sees Pennington reunited with the theatre’s Artistic Director, Tom Littler, who directed him in Strindberg’s Dances of Death at the Gate Theatre in 2013. Littler is currently a finalist in the OffWestEnd Awards for his critically acclaimed production of All’s Well That Ends Well, which was staged by Jermyn Street Theatre and Guildford Shakespeare Company last year.

Honorary Associate Artist at the RSC and a four-time Olivier Award nominee, Michael Pennington co-founded and led the English Shakespeare Company alongside the late director Michael Bogdanov. The actor, whose acclaimed Shakespearean roles include King Lear, Hamlet, Antony, Leontes, Coriolanus, Macbeth, Timon of Athens, Richard II, Henry V, Berowne, Mercutio, and Angelo, said:

“I have declined playing Prospero a few times – it is so often described as Shakespeare’s farewell to the stage, and I wouldn’t want it to be mine! But it is a great part, in a great play, with layers on layers of meaning. And having seen Tom Littler’s All’s Well That Ends Well last year, I am excited about playing Shakespeare in such an intimate production.”

The cast of Littler’s production also includes Peter Bramhill (King Lear, Young Vic, Thomas Moore, RSC, Ian Charleson Award nomination) as Sebastian and Trinculo, Kirsty Bushell (King Lear, Chichester Festival Theatre/West End, Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare’s Globe, The White Devil, RSC) as Miranda, Richard Derrington (For Services Rendered, Jermyn Street Theatre, The Archers, numerous roles for Alan Ayckbourn and the RSC) as Antonio and Stephano…

…Lynn Farleigh (Wycliffe, numerous leading roles for the RSC) as Gonzalo, Jim Findley (For Services Rendered, Jermyn Street Theatre, Our Town, Regent’s Park, The Lady from the Sea, Donmar Warehouse) as Alonso, Whitney Kehinde (Twelfth Night, National Theatre, Twelfth Night, Grosvenor Park) as Ariel, and Tam Williams (Spectre, The Lottery of Love, Orange Tree Theatre, The Rivals, Theatre Royal Haymarket, Twelfth Night, The Old Vic) as Ferdinand and Caliban.

Littler is joined by regular collaborators including designers Neil Irish and Anett Black (jointly OffWestEnd Award-nominated for All’s Well That Ends Well, numerous designs for Opera Holland Park, English Touring Opera, Royal Opera House), composer and sound designer Max Pappenheim (Macbeth, Chichester, The Night of the Iguana, West End, The Children, Royal Court, Manhattan Theatre Company), lighting designer Will Reynolds (OffWestEnd Award nominated for Pictures of Dorian Gray, Stitchers and The Blinding Light, Jermyn Street Theatre), and movement director Julia Cave (Pictures of Dorian Gray, Jermyn Street Theatre, Treasure Island, Bolton Octagon).

Read more about Jermyn Street Theatre’s 2020 programme.

For more information or to book tickets, call the box office on 020 7287 2875 or visit www.jermynstreettheatre.co.uk/.