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John Lithgow heads to National for The Magistrate at Christmas

John Lithgow

Preview by Jack Foley

JOHN Lithgow is to play the title role of Sir Arthur Wing Pinero’s The Magistrate at The National Theatre this Christmas (2012).

The Victorian farce will be directed by Timothy Sheader and replaces the postponed The Count of Monte Cristo, which Sheader was also due to direct.

The story follows a respectable magistrate as he becomes engulfed in scandal by the antics of his wife and her son. It will co-star Olivier award-winner Nancy Carroll and previews at the Olivier Theatre from November 14.

Lithgow has enjoyed a varied career on the stage, TV and in cinema. His films include Footloose and Terms of Endearment and he also provided the voice of Lord Farquaad in Shrek.

On TV, meanwhile, he has enjoyed two massive successes – firstly as the kindly father of US sitcom 3rd Rock From The Sun and then as the chilling Trinity killer in Dexter.

His stage career includes leading roles in Broadway productions including M Butterfly, All My Sons and Sweet Smell of Success, for which he won a Tony.

In 2007 Lithgow played Malvolio in Twelfth Night for the Royal Shakespeare Company at Stratford-upon-Avon and, two years later, he performed his one-man theatrical memoir Stories by Heart at the National.

Joining Lithgow and Carroll in The Magistrate will be Nicholas Blane, Nicholas Burns, Tamsin Carroll, Alexander Cobb, Christina Cole, Jonathan Coy, Richard Freeman, Don Gallagher, Amy Griffiths, Joshua Lacey, Christopher Logan, Nicholas Lumley, Joshua Manning, Joshua McGuire, Sean McKenzie, Sarah Ovens, Peter Polycarpou, Beverly Rudd, Roger Sloman and Jez Unwin.

The Magistrate will also be broadcast to cinemas world-wide as part of the National Theatre Live scheme on January 17, 2013.