Mark Rylance continues to shine with the West End transfer of Farinelli and the King
Over a long and distinguished career Mark Rylance has moved with grace and lots of eccentric style from accomplished actor, writer, director and artistic director to veritable national treasure.
His most recent role in Claire van Kampen’s critically-acclaimed new play Farinelli and the King at the Sam Wanamaker playhouse is set to transfer to the Duke of York’s theatre this summer.
Rylance’s amazing performance as Johnny “Rooster” Byron in Jez Butterworth’s Jerusalem proved nothing short of a theatrical revelation, with audiences and critics queuing up to praise him and awards ceremonies falling over themselves to hand over their honours (Olivier, Evening Standard and Critics’ Circle awards included). His small, low-profile project of David Hirson’s comedy La Bete alongside Frasier’s David Hyde Pierce and acting goddess Joanna Lumley in London and Broadway proved a resounding hit.
Other recent acting success for Rylance includes Samuel Beckett’s Endgame at the Duchess Theatre and his Tony award-winning role in Boeing-Boeing in the West End and on Broadway. He was Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre for ten years and 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. Other work includes a number of RSC and the National Theatre productions as well as roles at the Donmar Warehouse and the Royal Court. In the West End he played Benedict in Much Ado about Nothing directed by Matthew Warchus, for which he won the Olivier Award for Best Actor. Film and TV work includes The Other Boleyn Girl, Prospero’s Books and The Government Inspector for which he won the BAFTA Best Actor Award for his role as David Kelly.
Ian Rickson, director of Jerusalem, said of Rylance that he is, “steeped in symbolism, imagination and ritual. There are very few actors who are able to be male and also have a poetic dimension.”
Farinelli and the King will play the Duke of York’s theatre for strictly limited run of 12 weeks, with performances beginning on 14th September 2015