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Simon Russell Beale to star in John Gabriel Borkman at the Bridge Theatre

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

SIMON Russell Beale will play the title role in Henrik Ibsen’s John Gabriel Borkman at the Bridge Theatre. Directed by Nicholas Hytner and in a new version by Lucinda Coxon, it will run from February 18 (previews from February 11) to April 17, 2020.

John Gabriel Borkman, once an illustrious entrepreneur, has been brought low by a prison sentence for fraud. As he paces alone in an upstairs room, bankrupt and disgraced, he is obsessed by dreams of his comeback. Downstairs, his estranged wife plots the restoration of the family name. When her sister arrives unannounced, she triggers a desperate showdown with the past.

Simon Russell Beale has most recently been seen on stage in The Lehman Trilogy at the National Theatre and in the West End with the production due to open on Broadway in March next year. His previous credits for the National Theatre include King Lear, 50 Years on Stage, Timon of Athens, Collaborators, London Assurance, Major Barbara, Much Ado About Nothing, The Life of Galileo, The Alchemist, Jumpers (also West End and New York), Humble Boy (also West End), Hamlet, Battle Royal, Candide, Summerfolk, Money, Othello, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and Volpone.

For the Royal Shakespeare Company his credits include The Tempest, King Lear, Ghosts, the title roles in Richard III and Edward II, The Seagull, Troilus and Cressida, The Man of Mode and Restoration. In the West End his credits include Monty Python’s Spamalot, Privates on Parade and Death Trap.

His screen work includes Vanity Fair, Legacy, Parkinson: Masterclass, Henry IV Parts 1 & 2, Spooks, John Adams, Dunkirk, The Young Visiters, Great Historians: Gibbon, A Dance to the Music of Time, Persuasion and The Mushroom Pickers (TV); The Death of Stalin, My Week with Marilyn, The Deep Blue Sea, The Gathering, Alice in Wonderland, An Ideal Husband, The Temptation of Franz Schubert and Hamlet (film).

Lucinda Coxon previously collaborated with Nicholas Hytner at The Bridge on the world premiere of Alys, Always. Her other theatre writing credits include Herding Cats, Happy Now, The Eternal Not, Nostalgia, The Shoemaker’s Wife, Vesuvius, Wishbones, Three Graces, The Ice Palace and Waiting at the Water’s Edge.

Her screen writing credits include the award-winning The Danish Girl starring Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander, The Little Stranger starring Domhnall Gleeson and Ruth Wilson, The Crimson Petal and The White starring Romola Garai for the BBC, Wild Target starring Emily Blunt and The Heart of Me starring Paul Bettany and Helena Bonham-Carter.

Nicholas Hytner’s previous collaborations with Simon Russell Beale include The Alchemist, Much Ado About Nothing, Major Barbara, Collaborators, London Assurance and Timon of Athens at the National Theatre.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe continues at the Bridge Theatre until February 2, 2020. It will be followed – from February 14 to March 14, 2020 – by Caryl Churchill’s play A Number, starring Roger Allam and Colin Morgan.