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Thursday, 06 June 2013 14:12

Tony Award Winner Mark Rylance to Star in TWELFTH NIGHT and RICHARD III on Broadway











Two-time Tony Award®-winner Mark Rylance (Jerusalem, Boeing-Boeing) will star on Broadway in two startlingly different performances in repertory: as the suddenly love struck noblewoman Olivia in Twelfth Night and as the ruthless and conniving title monarch in Richard III.   The critically heralded all-male Shakespeare’s Globe productions of Twelfth Night and Richard III, which delighted audiences and broke all box office records in London’s West End earlier this year, will open Sunday, November 10 at the Belasco Theatre (111 West 44th Street), with previews beginning October 15.   The productions, directed by Tim Carroll, designed by Jenny Tiramani and with music by Claire van Kampen, will play a limited engagement for 16 weeks.   Tickets are on sale now through For a schedule of performances and more information, please visit





The producers are pleased to announce that at every performance, 250 seats will be set aside to be sold for $25.  These seats will include the balcony, as well as selected seats in the orchestra, mezzanine, boxes and Globe-style on-stage seating, bookable in advance.   Over 20,000 $25 tickets will be made available throughout the run. 

Twelfth Night and Richard III are both presented with an extraordinary all-male company playing both male and female roles, as the plays were originally staged in Shakespeare’s day.  The productions are filled with music, played live by seven musicians on traditional Elizabethan instruments in a gallery above the stage, and are lit almost exclusively by the glow of 100 on-stage candles, adding to the intimate and authentic atmosphere.  Entering the theatre, audiences will also witness the pre-show ritual of actors dressing and preparing their make-up on stage, adding to the unique and immersive theatrical experience. 

“These productions show how laugh-out-loud funny, thrillingly theatrical and immediate Shakespeare plays can be,” the producers commented.  “To see Mark Rylance, who is one of the world’s greatest, most accomplished and acclaimed stage actors, and the remarkable Shakespeare’s Globe company in these two uniquely staged extraordinary productions is an unforgettable experience.  It is important to us that the opportunity is accessible to all audiences, across the house, so we are thrilled to be able to offer 250 seats at $25 for every performance, bookable in advance, throughout the engagement.”

Twelfth Night and Richard III offer the first opportunity for Broadway audiences to see Mark Rylance performing Shakespeare, for which he has earned such accolades as “our greatest living actor” (The Independent) and “the most exciting stage actor of his generation” (The Times).  

From his early performances with the Royal Shakespeare Company to his 10 years as the first Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe (1995-2005), UK critics and audiences have celebrated Rylance for his fresh, hilarious and inventive performances in Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Henry V, The Tempest, Much Ado About Nothing, Two Gentlemen of Verona and As You Like It, among others. 

Much loved playwright, screenwriter, actor, writer, poet, journalist, comedian, television personality and national treasure Stephen Fry will make his Broadway acting debut as Malvolio in Twelfth Night.  Tony Award®-nominee and Drama Desk Award-winner Samuel Barnett (The History Boys) will appear as Viola in Twelfth Night and Queen Elizabeth in Richard III.   Full casting for both productions will be announced in coming weeks. 

The plays, which will mark the Broadway debut for London’s world-famous Shakespeare’s Globe, will be staged in repertory, with six performances of Twelfth Night and two performances of Richard III a week (post opening), with the opportunity to see the two productions in one day on Wednesdays and Saturdays.  


Outrageous high comedy ensues as the pangs of unrequited love affect the unforgettable characters of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.  While the lovelorn Duke Orsino plots to win the heart of the mourning Olivia (Mark Rylance), an alliance of servants and hangers-on scheme against the high handedness of Olivia’s steward, the pompous Malvolio (Stephen Fry).  When Orsino engages the cross-dressed Viola (Samuel Barnett), who has disguised herself as a young man under the name Cesario, to plead with Olivia on his behalf, a bittersweet and hilarious chain of events follows. 


Richard Duke of Gloucester (Mark Rylance) is determined that he should wear the crown of England.  He has already dispatched one king and that king’s son; now all that stands in his way are two credulous brothers and two helpless nephews – the Princes in the Tower.  And woe betide those – the women he wrongs, the henchmen he betrays – who dare to raise a voice against him.  Monstrous, but theatrically electric, Richard is Shakespeare’s most charismatic, self-delighting villain, reveling at every moment in his homicidal, hypocritical journey to absolute power. 


Founded by the pioneering American actor and director Sam Wanamaker, Shakespeare’s Globe is a vibrant organization and reconstructed open-air theatre on the banks of the River Thames dedicated to the exploration of Shakespearean, Elizabethan, Jacobean, and contemporary theatre.  Through an ambitious and lively theatre season, a dynamic and varied education program and a rich and interesting exhibition, the Globe has become a significant part of the national and international theatre landscape.  Under the Globe’s first artistic director, Mark Rylance, and now its second, Dominic Dromgoole, the theatre has worked its way through Shakespeare’s canon, providing a huge wealth of insight into each play when it is produced afresh within the architecture for which Shakespeare originally wrote.  The Globe has always been an international story, having been built by an American; welcoming international audiences into its oak embrace throughout its life and taking its work back out into the world including many theatre tours and workshops in the US.  In January 2014, Shakespeare’s Globe will present the first season of plays in its newly constructed Sam Wanamaker Playhouse – a Jacobean archetype of an early indoor theatre, completely unique amongst London venues and enabling Shakespeare’s Globe to present theatre productions all year round.   

Multi-award winning actor Mark Rylance (Olivia/Richard, Duke of Gloucester) last appeared on Broadway in his Tony Award®-winning performance as Johnny ‘Rooster’ Byron in the critically acclaimed production of Jerusalem, which he also played at the Royal Court and in the West End.  Previously, he played Valere in La Bête (Broadway, West End), Hamm in Samuel Beckett’s Endgame (West End) and Robert in Boeing-Boeing (Broadway and West End), for which he also received a Tony Award®.   His other theatre work includes many productions for the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre and the Glasgow Citizens’ Theatre.  During his time as Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe, his work as an actor included the title roles in Henry V and Hamlet as well as Cleopatra in Antony and Cleopatra and Olivia in Twelfth Night.  His film and television work includes The Other Boleyn Girl, Prospero’s Books, Angels and Insects, Leonardo and David Kelly in Channel 4’s “The Government Inspector,” for which he won the BAFTA Best Actor Award. 

Stephen Fry (Malvolio), celebrated for his diverse career as playwright, screenwriter, poet, journalist and TV personality, makes his Broadway acting debut with Twelfth Night.  His theatre credits include Forty Years On (Chichester Festival Theatre/West End) and The Common Pursuit.  Film includes Sherlock Holmes 2, St. Trinian’s, Eichmann, Tales of the Riverbank, Stormbreaker, V for Vendetta, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, A Cock and Bull Story, A Bear Named Winnie, Tooth, The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, Le Divorce, Gosford Park, The Discovery of Heaven, Thunderpants, Whatever Happened to Harold Smith, A Civil Action, The Tichborne Claimant, Spice World, Wilde (Golden Globe nomination), The Wind in the Willows, Cold Comfort Farm, I.Q., Peter’s Friends, A Fish Called Wanda, A Handful of Dust and The Good Father.  Television credits include “Doors Open,” “No Strings Attached,” “The Bleak Little Shop of Stuff,” “The Borrowers,” “Holy Flying Circus,” “Q.1.” (11 series, Royal Television Society nomination for Best Entertainment 2008, Royal Television Society nomination for Best Entertainment Performance 2008, BAFTA nomination for Best Entertainment Performance 2004-2007), “Kingdom,” “Never Mind the Buzzcocks,” “Bones,” “Extras,” “Who Do You Think You Are?” “Tom Brown’s Schooldays,” “Absolute Power,” “Fortysomething,” “Paddington Goes to Peru,” “Surrealissimo,” “Gormenghast,” “Longitude,” “Watership Down,” “Stalag Luft,” “Common Pursuit,” “Jeeves and Wooster,” “Blackadder Goes Forth,” “Old Flames,” “A Bit of Fry and Laurie,” “Saturday Live,” “Happy Families,” “Blackadder,” “The Young Ones” and “Alfresco”.  

Samuel Barnett (Viola/Queen Elizabeth) created the role of Posner in Alan Bennett’s The History Boys, performing in the original production at the National Theatre, on Broadway (Tony Award® nomination, Drama Desk Award), and on the international tour.  Barnett recently played opposite Jamie Parker in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead at Chichester Festival Theatre and the Theatre Royal Haymarket.  His other National Theatre credits include Women Beware Women and His Dark Materials.  He was also seen in Dealer’s Choice in the West End. 

Tim Carroll (Director) began his career with the English Shakespeare Company, for whom he directed Julius Caesar, Cymbeline and The Tempest.  He then directed several productions as Associate Director at the Northcott Theatre, Exeter, including Charley’s Aunt and Forty Years On.  Other regional theatre includes Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me for Salisbury Playhouse and Engaged for the Orange Tree, Richmond.  At the Globe, between 1999 and 2005, he directed The Two Noble Kinsmen, Macbeth, Twelfth Night, Richard II, Dido Queen of Carthage, Romeo and Juliet and The Tempest as well as three new Peter Oswald plays: Augustine’s Oak, The Golden Ass and The Storm.  Since leaving the Globe in 2005 his productions have included: The Merchant of Venice (RSC), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Sydney Opera House), Spike Milligan’s Adolf Hitler: My Part in his Downfall (Bristol Old Vic and tour); Peter Pan (Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Ontario); All’s Well That Ends Well for the National Theatre of Craiova, Romania and Amadeus for the National Theatre of Portugal in Lisbon.  Last year, he directed the world premiere of Skane by Pamela Carter at Hampstead Theatre.  Tim has directed many opera productions, including The Turn of the Screw for Opera Oviedo, Spain; Britten’s Canticles for the Liceu, Barcelona; and The Barber of Seville for Opera Holland Park. 

Jenny Tiramani (Design)has worked as a Costume and Stage Designer since 1977. She was Associate Designer at the Theatre Royal, Stratford East 1979-1997 and Director of Theatre Design at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, London 1997-2005, receiving the Laurence Oliver Award for Best Costume Design 2003, for the Globe production of Twelfth Night, followed by another Olivier nomination for the same show in 2013.  Recent opera work includes costume designs for La Clemenza di Tito by Mozart (Aix-en-Provence 2011) and Anna Bolena by Donizetti (Metropolitan Opera, New York, September 2011).  Jenny returned to the Globe in 2012 to design these new productions of Twelfth Night and Richard III which transferred to the Apollo Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue.  Future designs for theatre include costumes for André Chenier by Umberto Giordano at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Shakespeare and Mendelssohn for the Hong Kong Philharmonic, both in 2014.  In 2008, she completed Janet Arnold’s Patterns of Fashion 4: The cut and construction of linen shirts, smocks, headwear, neckwear and accessories for men & women c1540-1660 with Santina M. Levey (pub. MacMillan). She has since co-written Seventeenth Century Women’s Dress Patterns: Book One (pub. April 2011) and Seventeenth Century Women’s Dress Patterns: Book Two (pub. July 2012) published by the V&A with Melanie Braun, Luca Costigliolo, Armelle Lucas, Susan North and Claire Thornton. Jenny is currently preparing Janet Arnold’s Patterns of Fashion 5: The cut and construction of clothing for women c. 1600 – 1830 with Luca Costigliolo.  Jenny was Visiting Professor of Costume at the School of Art & Design, Nottingham Trent University from 2009-2011. She has taught on many UK and USA costume courses as a visiting tutor and has been the Director of the Rutgers University/Shakespeare’s Globe Study Abroad Design Course in London since 2001.  She is now the Principal of The School of Historical Dress, established in 2009 to teach an object-based approach to the subject.

Claire van Kampen (Music) trained at the Royal College of Music, specializing in the performance of contemporary music and studying composition with Dr. Ruth Gipps.  Her international career as composer, performer, writer and broadcaster has produced scores for many theatre productions, television and film.  In 1990, she co-founded the theatre company Phoebus Cart with Mark Rylance.  Their production of The Tempest was performed in the foundations of the Globe in 1991. As Director of Theatre Music during its founding ten years, Claire was involved in creating music for over 30 Globe productions between 1996 and 2006. Her recent work includes: Love’s Labour’s Lost, Helen, King Lear and Henry IV Parts 1 and 2 (Shakespeare’s Globe); Boeing-Boeing, La Bête (West End/Broadway); Nocturne and Anonymous (Dir. Roland Emmerich) (Film).   Her awardsinclude: Vero Nihil Verius Award for DistinguishedAchievement in the Arts by Concordia University (Oregon, USA) and the 2007 Sam Wanamaker Award.  Her recent workincludes the 2012 season at the Globe/West End: Henry V, Richard III and Twelfth Night.   As a writer, Claire is creatinga new play about the castrato Farinelli, and also writing both book and music for Grand Central, a musical to be producedin New York.  She is currently writing a full length story balleton Macbeth for Pennsylvania Ballet’s 50th anniversaryin Philadelphia, October 2013.

Twelfth Night and Richard III will be produced on Broadway by Sonia Friedman Productions, Scott Landis, Roger Berlind, Bob Bartner & Norman Tulchin, Stephanie P. McClelland, 1001 Nights, Just For Laughs Theatricals / Glass Half Full Productions, Rupert Gavin,  Max Cooper and Shakespeare Road Productions in association with Shakespeare Globe Center USA.

Tickets are on sale now through

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