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Eve Best returns to the Globe to play Cleopatra

Eve Best

Casting news

EVE Best is returning to Shakespeare’s Globe to play Cleopatra in Jonathan Munby’s production of Antony and Cleopatra, which runs from May 29 (previews from May 17) to August 24, 2014.

Phil Daniels plays the role of Enobarbus.

Cleopatra, the alluring and fascinatingly ambiguous Queen of Egypt, has bewitched the great Mark Antony, soldier, campaigner and now one of the three rulers of the Roman Empire. When Antony quarrels with his fellow leaders and throws in his lot with Cleopatra, his infatuation threatens to split the Empire in two.

Roman virtue and Eastern vice, transcendent love and realpolitik combine in Antony and Cleopatra, Shakespeare’s greatest exploration of the conflicting claims of sex and power.

Eve Best made her directing debut at the Globe with Macbeth in last year’s summer season, and previously appeared as Beatrice in the 2011 production of Much Ado About Nothing. In 2012, she played the eponymous Duchess in The Duchess of Malfi at the Old Vic and Wallis Simpson in the Oscar-winning film The King’s Speech.

She won the Olivier Award for Best Actress for her performance in the title role in Hedda Gabler at the Almeida Theatre in 2005. She is also a two-time winner of the London Critics’ Circle Award for Best Actress, for Hedda Gabler and Mourning Becomes Electra at the National Theatre, and a two-time nominee of the Tony Award for Best Actress.

Phil Daniels, who first came to fame in the cult film Quadrophenia, returns to the Globe following his “vigorous and earthy turn” in 2011’s The God of Soho. He will also star as the Citizen in The Knight of the Burning Pestle in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse from February 20. His other recent stage credits include This House (National Theatre) and The Beggar’s Opera (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre). He was the voice of the Blur single Parklife and appeared in the song’s music video.

Jonathan Munby is currently Creative Associate for English Touring Theatre. He was nominated for a Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Director for The Dog In The Manger at the Shakespeare Theatre Company, Washington D.C. His other recent credits include Wendy and Peter Pan (Royal Shakespeare Company), A Human Being Died That Night (Hampstead Studio), The Prince of Homburg and Life Is A Dream (Donmar Warehouse) and ’Tis Pity She’s A Whore and The White Devil (Menier Chocolate Factory).

Antony and Cleopatra is one of four Shakespeare productions in this year’s Globe summer season, entitled Arms and the Man. Lucy Bailey’s Titus Andronicus, Dominic Dromgoole’s Julius Caesar and Blanche McIntyre’s The Comedy of Errors complete the quartet of plays themed around war and the classical world.