Ben Whishaw, Jessica Hynes and Rachael Stirling are to appear in the Royal Court’s autumn season.
Whishaw will take the lead role in Mike Bartlett’s candid new play Cock, which opens in the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs on 18 November (previews from 13 November), while Hynes and Stirling join the cast of Michael Wynne’s The Priory, which plays in the Downstairs theatre from 19 November (press night 26 November).
As a 23-year-old, Whishaw made his mark on the London stage by taking the title role in Trevor Nunn’s 2004 production of Hamlet at the Old Vic, which earned the young actor a Laurence Olivier Award nomination. Since then he has returned to the London stage in …Some Trace Of Her at the National Theatre and Leaves Of Glass at the Soho. His film work includes Perfume, Enduring Love, Layer Cake and Brideshead Revisited.
Cock centres on John, who takes a break from his boyfriend and accidentally meets the girl of his dreams. Filled with guilt and indecision, he decides there is only one way to straighten things out.
Whishaw is directed in Cock by James Macdonald, whose many credits at the Royal Court include Drunk Enough To Say I Love You, Dying City and Blasted.
Jeremy Herrin, Deputy Artistic Director of the Royal Court, will direct Hynes and Stirling in The Priory, Wynne’s new comedy which takes a microscope to modern dilemmas about life and love through the eyes of a group of thirtysomethings gathered together to celebrate New Year’s eve.
Hynes received a Tony Award nomination for her role in Alan Ayckbourn’s The Norman Conquests, which played at the Old Vic last year before transferring to Broadway. She has previously appeared at the Royal Court in The Night Heron, which earned her a Laurence Olivier Award nomination in 2003, though she is probably best known for her screen work which includes The Royle Family, Spaced and Shaun Of The Dead.
Stirling also came to prominence on television, starring in the 2002 dramatisation of Tipping The Velvet. Her London stage credits include A Woman Of No Importance at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, Theatre Of Blood at the National Theatre and Uncle Vanya and Look Back In Anger at Wilton’s Music Hall.
Currently playing at the Royal Court is Jerusalem, which ends its run on 22 August. The autumn season kicks off in September with Enron in the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs and The Author in the Upstairs space.