Producers at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre have announced today that Michelle Terry will play the title role of Henry V directed by Robert Hastie and that Declan Bennett will take on the title role in Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar to be directed by Artistic Director Timothy Sheader.
Henry V will be presented from 17 June – 9 July 2016. Olivier Award-winning actress Michelle Terry plays the title role in Henry V. With a wealth of Shakespearean roles to her credit, Terry takes on the role of King Henry in this new production as part of Shakespeare400. Terry is most noted for her numerous roles at The Globe, RSC and the National Theatre (currently appearing in Cleansed), as well as Privacy (Donmar Warehouse) and Before the Party (Almeida). In 2011 she was awarded ‘Best Actress in a Supporting Role’ at the Olivier Awards for her portrayal of Sylvia in the Royal Court Theatre production of Tribes.
Henry V director Robert Hastie comments: “Michelle has the compassion, the wit and the imagination that mark out the really great Shakespearean actors. I’m thrilled by what she’ll bring to Henry. There’s no-one I’d like to see play this part more.
“It’s tremendously exciting that we are collectively rethinking who has access to Shakespeare’s great roles. Henry V is a study in leadership and who we think is entitled to lead, as well as being a play about war and peace and England’s place in the world. This summer we’re expecting the results of a MOD consultation that aims to put female soldiers on the front line of combat, as well as the publication at last of the Chilcott report into why our country goes to war, and who we trust to take us there.”
Jesus Christ Superstar will be presented from 15 July to 27 August 2016. Declan Bennett leads the cast in the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre production of Jesus Christ Superstar. The original lead in the London cast of Once (Phoenix), Bennett has also appeared in Boy George’s musical Taboo (Venue Theatre), RENT (US tour and Broadway), American Idiot (Broadway) as well as on BBC’s EastEnders as Charlie Cotton.
As a solo singer-songwriter, his latest album Record:BREAKUP was released as a live acoustic version in 2013. He achieved five UK Top 20 singles, and a UK Top 20 album with Brit Award nominated boy band Point Break.
Musical direction is by Tom Deering (Made In Dagenham, From Here To Eternity), design by Tom Scutt (Constellations, Les Liaisons Dangereuses) and choreography by Drew McOnie (Jekyll and Hyde Olivier Award nominee for Best Choreographer for In The Heights).
Timothy Sheader, Artistic Director comments: “Casting the iconic roles of Jesus and Henry V was about finding voices which would foster a new engagement with the stories. Declan’s music background brings a particular skill set and authenticity to this gig-like production of the show, and his past stage work in Rent, American Idiot and Once makes his Jesus a particularly exciting prospect.”