David Calder is to play King Lear in the opening production of this year’s season at Shakespeare’s Globe from 23 April.
Calder is best known on television for playing the title role in the series Bramwell during the 1990s. He has a multitude of screen credits to his name, including Heartbeat, Hustle, Wallis & Edward and the recent film Perfume. However, he is also an experienced stage actor, having worked extensively for the Royal Shakespeare Company, playing major roles including Prospero and Shylock. He was last seen on the London stage in 2006 when he took over the role of Max in Tom Stoppard’s acclaimed new play Rock ‘N’ Roll at the Duke of York’s. He has previously appeared on stage in the capital in Five Gold Rings and Conversations After A Burial, both at the Almeida, and The Little Foxes at the Donmar Warehouse.
Shakespeare’s Globe Artistic Director Dominic Dromgoole directs Calder as the tragic monarch in this new production which uses Renaissance staging and costume by designer Jonathan Fensom.
Initial casting has also been confirmed for the next two Shakespeare plays in the season, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (from 10 May) and The Merry Wives Of Windsor (from 8 June). Christopher Brandon will be cavorting with fairies in the forest this summer as he takes the part of Lysander in the bard’s magical comedy, while Shakespeare’s Globe regular Oliver Boot (In Extremis, Antony And Cleopatra) returns to the venue to play Demetrius.
Christopher Benjamin, last seen in the West End in A Voyage Round My Father at the Donmar Warehouse and Wyndham’s, takes the role of Falstaff in The Merry Wives Of Windsor. He is joined by Serena Evans (TV’s The Thin Blue Line, Once In A Lifetime at the National) as Mistress Page, Sarah Woodward (Present Laughter at the National) as Mistress Ford and Sue Wallace as Mistress Quickly.
This year’s ambitious season, entitled Totus Mundus, continues with a fourth Shakespeare, Timon Of Athens, and two new plays, Frontline by Che Walker and Liberty by Glyn Maxwell. The venue will also create two touring productions this summer, The Winter’s Tale and Romeo And Juliet.
Further casting is to be announced shortly.