Last Updated on 16th November 2023
Ian McKellen is to play Falstaff in Robert Icke’s production of Player Kings adapted from Shakespeare’s Henry IV Parts 1 and 2
Player Kings Tour and West End
Ian McKellen – ‘one of the world’s greatest actors’ (Times) – plays Falstaff in a new version of Shakespeare’s Henry IV, adapted by the award-winning writer and director Robert Icke.
A divided country, leadership crumbling, corruption in the air. Welcome to England.
Hal wasn’t born to be king. Only now, it seems, he will be. His father longs for him to leave behind his friends in the taverns of Eastcheap, most notably the infamous John Falstaff. War is on the horizon. But will Hal ever come good?
Bringing together Shakespeare’s two great history plays (Henry IV, parts 1 and 2), Player Kings will reign over London’s West End for twelve weeks only – playing at the Noël Coward Theatre from April 2024.
The production runs at the Noël Coward Theatre, 1 April – 22 June 2024, with previews at New Wimbledon Theatre, 1 March – 9 March 2024, and Manchester Opera House, 14 – 23 March 2024.
Ian McKellen also commented, “I decided to become a professional actor at Cambridge in 1959, when I was in John Barton’s undergraduate production of Henry IV. Derek Jacobi played Prince Hal and I was the ancient Justice Shallow. Ever since, the plays have been among my favourite Shakespeares, although through the years I’ve resisted offers to play John Falstaff. Robert Icke’s ingenious adaptation was irresistible.”
Designer: Hildegard Bechtler; Lighting Designer: Lee Curran; Sound Designer: Gareth Fry; Casting Director: Julia Horan; Fight Director: Kev McCurdy