Michael Pennington Leads THE TEMPEST At Jermyn Street Theatre
This March, one of the leading Shakespearean actors of his generation, Michael Pennington, is to play Prospero for the first time in Jermyn Street Theatre's staging of Shakespeare's final work The Tempest.
The production sees Pennington reunited with the theatre's Artistic Director, Tom Littler, who directed him in Strindberg's Dances of Death at The Gate Theatre in 2013. Littler is currently a finalist in the OffWestEnd Awards for his critically acclaimed production of All's Well That Ends Well, which was staged by Jermyn Street Theatre and Guildford Shakespeare Company last year.
Honorary Associate Artist at the RSC and a four-time Olivier Award nominee, Michael Pennington co-founded and led the English Shakespeare Company alongside the late director Michael Bogdanov. The actor, whose acclaimed Shakespearean roles include King Lear, Hamlet, Antony, Leontes, Coriolanus, Macbeth, Timon of Athens, Richard II, Henry V, Berowne, Mercutio, and Angelo, says:
"I have declined playing Prospero a few times - it is so often described as Shakespeare's farewell to the stage, and I wouldn't want it to be mine! But it is a great part, in a great play, with layers on layers of meaning. And having seen Tom Littler's All's Well That Ends Well last year, I am excited about playing Shakespeare in such an intimate production."
The cast of Littler's production also includes Peter Bramhill (Holby City - RSC, King Lear - Young Vic, Thomas Moore - RSC, Ian Charleson Award nomination) as Sebastian and Trinculo, Kirsty Bushell (King Lear - Chichester and West End, Romeo and Juliet - Shakespeare's Globe, The White Devil - RSC) as Miranda, Richard Derrington (For Services Rendered - Jermyn Street Theatre, The Archers, numerous roles for Alan Ayckbourn and the RSC) as Antonio and Stephano, Lynn Farleigh (Wycliffe, numerous leading roles for the RSC) as Gonzalo, Jim Findley (For Services Rendered - Jermyn Street Theatre, Our Town - Regent's Park, The Lady from the Sea - Donmar) as Alonso, Whitney Kehinde (Twelfth Night - National Theatre, Twelfth Night - Grosvenor Park) as Ariel, and Tam Williams (Spectre, The Lottery of Love - Orange Tree Theatre, The Rivals - Theatre Royal Haymarket, Twelfth Night - Old Vic) as Ferdinand and Caliban.
Littler is joined by regular collaborators including designers Neil Irish and Anett Black (jointly OffWestEnd Award-nominated for All's Well That Ends Well, numerous designs for Opera Holland Park, English Touring Opera, Royal Opera House), composer and sound designer Max Pappenheim (Macbeth - Chichester, The Night of the Iguana - West End, The Children - Royal Court, Manhattan Theatre Company), lighting designer Will Reynolds (OffWestEnd Award nominated for Pictures of Dorian Gray, Stitchers and The Blinding Light - Jermyn Street Theatre), and movement director Julia Cave (Pictures of Dorian Gray - Jermyn Street Theatre, Treasure Island - Bolton Octagon).
Jermyn Street Theatre recently celebrated its 25th anniversary in the heart of London's West End. In 2017 it became a producing house and has since forged partnerships with theatres in New York, Munich, Frankfurt, Newbury, Guildford, Oxford, Cumbria and York, producing over twenty world premieres alongside several rediscoveries. Jermyn Street Theatre is a signatory to the Equity Fringe Agreement and committed to equal gender representation. The 2020 Season also features the currently running Samuel Beckett's Krapp's Last Tape / Eh Joe / The OId Tune directed by Trevor Nunn and starring Niall Buggy, Lisa Dwan, James Hayes and David Threlfall, Paul Minx's The Dog Walker starring Victoria Yeates (12th February to 7th March), Alan Ayckbourn's Relatively Speaking (21st April to 16th May), The Marriage of Alice B Toklas by Gertrude Stein by Edward Einhorn (20th May to 20th June), Sarah Ruhl's adaptation of Virginia Woolf's Orlando (24th June to 18th July), Chekhov's Three Sisters in a new version by Peter Gill (9th September to 3rd October), Something In The Air by Peter Gill (7th to 31st October), After Darwin by Timberlake Wertenbaker (4th to 28 November) and The Massive Tragedy of Madame Bovary! by John Nicholson (2nd December to 16th January 20).