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Edward II - National Theatre (Olivier)

Theatre preview

A CONTEMPORARY take on Edward II, Christopher Marlowe’s magnificent, erotic and violent play, opens in the National’s Olivier Theatre on September 4 (previews from August 28) before continuing in repertoire until October 26, 2013.

Joe Hill-Gibbins, making his National Theatre debut, directs a cast that includes Ben Addis, Alex Beckett, Paul Bentall, John Heffernan (as Edward II), Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, Bettrys Jones, Vanessa Kirby (Queen Isabella), Nathaniel Martello-White, Matthew Pidgeon, David Sibley and Kyle Soller (Gaveston).

Hot on the heels of his coronation, Edward II recalls his lover Gaveston from exile, lavishing him with titles and riches. Their all-consuming lust makes enemies of the furious barons and bishops, alienates the King’s once-devoted Queen and tears England to pieces. Ultimately, the monarch himself is destroyed as are many of those who stood both at his side and in his way.

Edward II is a behind-the-scenes exploration of power, sexual obsession and a king who treats the realm as his playground.

John Heffernan’s previous National Theatre appearances include She Stoops to Conquer, Emperor and Galilean, After the Dance, The Habit of Art, The Revenger’s Tragedy and Major Barbara for which he won an Ian Charleson Award. His recent credits elsewhere include the title role in Richard II (Tobacco Factory, Bristol), The Hothouse (Trafalgar Studios), Love and Information (Royal Court), The Physicists (Donmar Warehouse) and The Last Duchess (Hampstead Theatre).

Vanessa Kirby’s recent theatre credits include Masha in Three Sisters (Young Vic), The Acid Test (Royal Court) and Women Beware Women (National Theatre). Her screen work includes Great Expectations, Labyrinth and Richard Curtis’ forthcoming film About Time.

Kyle Soller won the Evening Standard 2011 Theatre Award for Outstanding Newcomer for his roles in The Glass Menagerie and The Government Inspector (Young Vic) and The Faith Machine (Royal Court). Recently, he has appeared in Long Day’s Journey Into Night (Apollo Theatre) and Cyrano de Bergerac (New York).

Joe Hill-Gibbins is Deputy Artistic Director of the Young Vic, where his productions include The Changeling, The Glass Menagerie, The Beauty Queen of Leenane and Alecky Blythe’s The Girlfriend Experience.

Edward II has set designs by Lizzie Clachan, costumes by Alex Lowde, lighting by James Farncombe, video design by Chris Kondek, music by Gary Yershon, sound by Paul Arditti, movement by Imogen Knight and dramaturgy by Zoe Svensden.

NB: Almost half the seats in the Olivier will be Travelex £12 Tickets, with the rest at £24 and £34.