Mark Rylance Returns to Broadway in FARINELLI AND THE KING

May 09, 2017



“One of the greatest actors in the world, Mark Rylance returns triumphantly to the stage. An urgent play. A celebration of the restorative power of music and how it can transform us.” The Daily Telegraph

“Mark Rylance is, without a doubt, a magnificent actor at the height of his powers and this new play offers him the chance to shine once more.” The Evening Standard

“A beguiling gem of a play, gorgeously framed in John Dove’s glowing, candlelit staging. Mark Rylance is superb.” Financial Times

May 8, 2017 – Mark Rylance, three-time Tony Award winner (Jerusalem, Boeing-Boeing, Twelfth Night) and Academy Award-winner (Bridge of Spies), will return to Broadway in the critically acclaimed Shakespeare’s Globe production of FARINELLI AND THE KING, a new play with music by author and composer Claire van Kampen, it was announced today by producers Sonia Friedman, Shakespeare's Globe and Paula Marie Black. The production, directed by John Dove, designed by Jonathan Fensom, with musical arrangements also by Claire van Kampen, will play a limited run at Broadway's Belasco Theatre (111 West 44th Street, between Sixth Avenue and Broadway). Previews will begin December 5, 2017 in advance of an opening night on Sunday, December 17, 2017. The production plays a strictly limited engagement through Sunday, March 25, 2018.

American Express pre-sale for FARINELLI AND THE KING will begin on Wednesday, May 10 at 10:00 AM through Wednesday, May 17 at 9:59 AM. Audience Rewards pre-sale will run from Wednesday, May 17 at 10:00 AM through Monday, May 22 at 9:59 AM. General on-sale will begin on Monday, May 22 at 10:00 AM, via

FARINELLI AND THE KING originally premiered to rave reviews and played a sold out run at Shakespeare’s Globe’s Sam Wanamaker Playhouse in February 2015. The production later played a sold out engagement in the West End in Fall 2015, where it was the highest grossing show in the history of the Duke of York’s Theatre, and received six Olivier Award nominations.

King Philippe V of Spain (Mark Rylance), plagued by insomnia, lies awake in his chamber. The Queen, desperate for a cure, hears of Farinelli - a castrato with a voice so divine it has the power to captivate all who hear it. Philippe is astonished when Farinelli sings, and begs him to stay. But will Farinelli, one of the greatest celebrities of his time, choose a life of solitude over fame and fortune in the opera houses of Europe. In its five-star review, The Independent hailed FARINELLI AND THE KING as a "profoundly funny and haunting meditation on the power of music in a pitch-perfect production by John Dove. Mark Rylance's Phillipe is like the love child of Stan Laurel and Hamlet."

FARINELLI AND THE KING returns Mark Rylance to the Belasco, where he triumphed with the double bill staging of Twelfth Night and Richard III in the 2013-2014 season. Mark Rylance won his third Tony Award for his performance as Olivia in Twelfth Night and was also Tony nominated for his performance in the title role of Richard III. FARINELLI AND THE KING is Mark Rylance's first return to Broadway since he won the 2016 Academy Award for his performance in Steven Spielberg's Bridge of Spies.

The production will feature London cast members Sam Crane (1984, BBC’s “Desperate Romantics”) as Farinelli, Huss Garbiya (Some People, A Midsummer’s Night Dream at Shakespeare’s Globe) as Doctor José Cervi, Colin Hurley (Twelfth Night/Richard III) as Metastasio, and Edward Peel (“London’s Burning,” A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Shakespeare's Globe) as De La Cuadra, with additional casting to be announced.

The production also stars Grammy Award-winning countertenor Iestyn Davies as the singing voice of Farinelli. Mr. Davies has performed at the Metropolitan Opera House, Carnegie Hall, The Royal Opera House and La Scala. He also stars in the Metropolitan Opera’s North American premiere of The Exterminating Angel in October. He will make his Broadway debut in FARINELLI AND THE KING. Mr. Davies will share the singing role of Farinelli with another artist to be announced.

Sonia Friedman Productions, Shakespeare’s Globe and Paula Marie Black join forces once again (Richard III and Twelfth Night) to bring this inspiring true story, featuring many of the exquisite arias by Handel first sung by Farinelli in the 1730s, to a magically transformed Belasco Theatre. Music will be played live on Baroque instruments in a gallery above the stage, lit almost exclusively by the glow of candlelight.

The production will also offer several rows of on-stage seating. Theatregoers who choose the on-stage seating will have an up-close and intimate experience. On-stage seating will go on sale at a later date to be announced.

The producers are also pleased to announce that over 200 seats a performance will be set aside to be sold for $32. These $32 tickets will include seating on all levels of the theatre, as well as Globe-style on-stage seating, bookable in advance. Over 25,000 $32 tickets will be made available throughout the run.

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Mark Rylance (Philippe V) was born in England in 1960 and emigrated with his family to America in 1962. He lived in Connecticut until 1969 and then moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he lived until returning to London in 1978. Mark trained at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (1978-1980) under Hugh Cruttwell, and The Glasgow Citizens Theatre gave him his first job in 1980, a year in repertoire, a trip to the carnival in Venice with Goldoni, and an Equity card. Mark last appeared in New York at Brooklyn's St. Ann's Warehouse in 2016 in Nice Fish, which he co-authored with the Minnesota poet Louis Jenkins, and was directed by Claire van Kampen. The play was produced by The A.R.T. and St. Ann's, having originally been produced by Joe Dowling at The Guthrie Theatre and subsequently produced by Sonia Friedman for The Harold Pinter Theatre in London's West End. Mark last appeared at The Belasco Theatre in 2013 as the Countess Olivia in Twelfth Night, and Richard in Richard III. Both productions
originated at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. They were subsequently produced by Sonia Friedman and directed by Tim Carroll, Artistic Director of The Shaw Festival, Canada. He has also appeared on Broadway as Johnny “Rooster” Byron in Jerusalem directed by Ian Rickson (The Music Box); Valere in La Bete (The Music Box) and Robert in Boeing Boeing (The Longacre), both directed by Matthew Warchus. He first played in NYC for A Theatre for a New Audience, Henry V and Touchstone, 1992-94. Recent film work includes Chris Nolan's Dunkirk, Steven Spielberg's Big Friendly Giant and Bridge of Spies. He is heard as Flop in "Bing Bunny" for the BBC and Thomas Cromwell i "Wolf Hall," directed by Peter Kosminsky, which was aired in America in 2015 on PBS. He will appear in Steven Spielberg's new film Ready Player One, due for release in 2018. Mark was the Artistic Director of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre (1996-2006) and during his career has acted in over 50 productions of plays by Shakespeare and his contemporaries. He is an honorary bencher of the Middle Temple Hall in London; trustee of The Shakespearean Authorship Trust; an ambassador of SURVIVAL the movement for tribal peoples; and a patron of PEACE DIRECT, working for non-violent resolution of conflict. In 2017, he was knighted by HRH Prince William for services to Drama.

Sam Crane (Farinelli) Theatre includes: 1984 (West End); Some Trace of Her, DNA, The Miracle, Dissonant (National Theatre); All’s Well That Ends Well, Henry IV parts I & II, Bedlam, Othello (Shakespeare’s Globe); The Shawl (Young Vic); Kebab (Royal Court); King Lear (WYP); Ghosts (Bristol Old Vic); The Humans (BAM); Eternal Love (ETT); The Lady from the Sea (Rose Kingston); Conquest of the South Pole (Arcola); Rabbit (Frantic Assembly); And Then There Were None (West End); A Little Requiem For Kantor (ICA). Sam received Ian Charleson Award Commendations for Ghosts and Othello. Television and film includes: "Desperate Romantics," "Call the Midwife," "Casualty," "Father Brown," "New Tricks" (BBC); "Poirot," "Midsomer Murders" (ITV); and feature The Christmas Candle. Radio includes: Macedonia, The Gambler, The Lady from the Sea, The Pretenders. Video Games include: Assassins Creed Syndicate (Ubisoft).

Iestyn Davies (Singing Voice of Farinelli) Praised as having “one of the most glorious sounds to be heard on the opera stage today” by the Express (London) and described as “superb” by The New York Times, Iestyn Davies is a Grammy Award-winning and Olivier Award-nominated countertenor whose other recent awards include the 2013 Critics' Circle Prize for Exceptional Young Talent and both the 2012 and 2014 Gramophone Recital Awards. Davies is a regular singer at New York's Metropolitan Opera House and Carnegie Hall as well as across the globe at The Royal Opera House in London and La Scala in Milan. A versatile performer equally at home on both the opera and concert stage, Davies has also sung for the Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Paris' Opéra Comique, English National Opera, Milan's Teatro alla Scala and at the Munich and Vienna Festivals. (

Huss Garbiya (Dr. José Cervi) Theatre includes: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Blue Stockings, The Frontline (Shakespeare’s Globe); What the Animals Say (Greyscale Theatre Company); The Taming of the Shrew (RSC); Estate Walls (Oval House Theatre); The Comedy of Errors (Royal Exchange Manchester); Sus (Splice Productions); San Diego (Tron Theatre Glasgow); Ash Girl, Quarantine (Birmingham Rep); Made of Stone (Royal Court); Soloman and the Big Cat (Southampton Nuffield Theatre); The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (Nottingham Playhouse); The Snow Queen (Manchester Library); Wise Guys (Manchester Contact Theatre). Television includes: "EastEnders," "Holby City," "Wire in the Blood," "The Grid," "Brief Lives," "Buried," “Clocking Off," "The Bill," "Extremely Dangerous." Film includes: Some Voices, Sex Lives of the Potato Men.

Colin Hurley (Metastasio). Theatre includes: Dream Play (Baz Productions); The Tempest (Norwich & Norfolk Festival); Farinelli and the King (Shakespeare’s Globe); Twelfth Night & Richard III (New York, West End & Shakespeare’s Globe); Anne Boleyn (UK Tour & Shakespeare’s Globe); One Snowy Night (UK Tour); All’s Well That Ends Well (Shakespeare's Globe); Hamlet & The Seagull (The Factory); Henry VIII (Shakespeare's Globe); Boiling Frogs (The Factory); 50/50 (The Factory & Hampstead Theatre); Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare's Globe); Equus (Theatre Royal Bath & UK Tour); Hamlet (The Factory); I Am Shakespeare (Chichester Festival Theatre & UK Tour); In Extremis (Shakespeare's Globe); Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare's Globe); Measure for Measure (US Tour); Troilus & Cressida & The Winter's Tale (Shakespeare's Globe); Here's What I Did With My Body (The Pleasance); The Woman in Black (The Fortune Theatre); Twelfth Night & The Golden Ass (Shakespeare's Globe); Three Sisters Two (The Orange Tree); A Month in the Country (RSC); Remember This (National Theatre); Hamlet (RSC); Camino Real (RSC); Mary Stuart, Richard III, King Lear, Wild Oats & The Good Person of Sezchaun (National Theatre); Loot & Sailor Beware (Lyric Hammersmith); The Dumb Waiter (Salisbury Playhouse); Sunday’s Children (Derby Playhouse); Macbeth (Watermill Theatre); Comedy of Errors (Bristol Old Vic); Hello and Goodbye (Custard Factory); Henry V, Edward III & Wotchit Sailor (Theatre Clywd); A Midsummer Night's Dream & Great Expectations (Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich); Hamlet, She Stoops to Conquer & Britannicus (Salisbury Playhouse); The Tempest (Chester Gateway); Antigone (Communicado). Television: 5 Episodes of "Flowers" (Kudos for Channel 4); "The Gingerbread Man" (Channel 4); "David Copperfield" (BBC); "The Bill" (Thames Television/ITV); "Peak Practice" (Central Television); "Holby City" (BBC); "Eastenders" (BBC). Film: Black Pond (Black Pond Productions); Henry V (Renaissance Films).

Edward Peel (De La Cuadra) Theatre includes: Eternal Love, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Blue Stockings, Troilus and Cressida (Shakespeare’s Globe); Anne Boleyn (Shakespeare’s Globe & UK Tour); Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (UK Tour); Horse Marines (Drum Theatre); On A Shout, Nellie Toast (Hull Truck Productions); Enemies (Almeida Theatre); Easter, Manek (Oxford Stage Company); Gong Donkeys (Bush Theatre); Sergeant Musgrave's Dance (Oxford Stage Theatre); An Inspector Calls (National Theatre); Falling, A Collier's Friday Night (Hampstead Theatre); All Credit to the Lads (Sheffield Crucible Theatre); Sugar Sugar (Bush Theatre); Richard III (Northern Broadsides); Richard III (RSC); The Dragon, Twelfth Night, DH Lawrence Trilogy, The Changing Room (Royal Court Theatre). Film includes: O Lucky Man!, Britannia Hospital, Force Ten from Navarone, Lassiter, Shogun. Television includes: "Doctors," "Nicholas Nickleby," "Clocking Off," "Juliet Bravo" (BBC); "Ripper Street" (Tiger Aspect For BBC); “Hollyoaks” (Channel 4); “The Royal Today,” “Emmerdale” (Yorkshire Television); “The Bill” (Fremantlemedia); “London’s Burning” (LWT); “Hillsborough,” “Cracker” (Granada Television). Voice over includes: “Little Princess” (Channel 5).

Claire van Kampen (Playwright) trained at the Royal College of Music, where she was awarded a John Land Scholarship. Studying music theory with Dr. Ruth Gipps, and piano performance with Peter Element, she also specialized in the performance of 20th-century music, premiering many works by today’s leading composers. She has subsequently developed an international career as a composer/performer, writing and playing for theatre, television and film soundtracks and the concert hall. Following the opening of Shakespeare's Globe in 1997 she was Mark Rylance's Associate Artistic Director. In addition, she was the Founding Director of Theatre Music, creating both period and contemporary music for more than 35 of the Globe's productions. She has continued to be the Globe Associate for Early Modern Theatre Music since 2007, creating music for nine productions directed by Dominic Dromgoole. Claire has become a theatre specialist on music and text of the 16th and 17^th centuries, on which she lectures
and broadcasts regularly for television and radio. During her time at the Globe, Claire has continued to work in the U.S. where amongst other award-winning productions she created original scores for Matthew Warchus’s Broadway productions of True West (2000), and Boeing-Boeing (2008), which won and was nominated for many Tony Awards. Other productions in the U.S. have included As You Like It (Theater for a New Audience); Hamlet, The Seagull (A.R.T. Cambridge, MA.); Peer Gynt, Nice Fish (Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis); La Bête, (Broadway/West End); Richard III and Twelfth Night (Shakespeare's Globe/West End/Broadway). Recent film includes: Anonymous (dir. Roland Emmerich); Days and Nights (dir. Christian Camargo) and Wolf Hall (historical music arranger; dir. Peter Kosminsky) for BBC/PBS. Claire is also writing a book specifically on music in the Globe Theatre. Awards: The Vero Nihil Verius Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Arts, conferred upon her by Concordia University (Portland,
Oregon, U.S.A) and the 2007 Sam Wanamaker Award for her founding work during the opening ten years at Shakespeare’s Globe.

John Dove (Director) His previous directorial work for Shakespeare’s Globe includes: Dr Scroggy’s War, Blue Stockings, All’s Well That Ends Well, Anne Boleyn, In Extremis, Measure for Measure (LA and New York Tour) and The Winter’s Tale (Tour). Recent directorial work includes: Pressure (Royal Lyceum/Chichester Festival Theatre); Eternal Love, Anne Boleyn (English Touring Theatre, TMA Award); The Clean House (Lee Dean and Jonny Topper Productions); Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme (Hampstead Theatre); Death of a Salesman, All My Sons, A View From the Bridge, The Price and The Man Who Had All the Luck (Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh). John was Associate Director at Hampstead Theatre, where amongst others he directed Bold Girls (Evening Standard Award), My Boy Jack, The Good Samaritan and Flight into Egypt. He has also directed at the Royal Court, The Old Vic, The Lyric Hammersmith, the Bush Theatre and Theatre Royal Stratford E15, as well as directing in Denmark,
France, USA, and Germany. He is an Artistic Associate of the Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh.

Jonathan Fensom (Designer) Previous work for Shakespeare’s Globe includes: Pericles, Measure for Measure, King John, Julius Caesar, Globe to Globe Hamlet (World Tour), The Duchess of Malfi, Gabriel, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Henry V, King Lear (small-scale tour), The Globe Mysteries, Hamlet (small-scale tour), Henry IV Parts 1 & 2, King Lear and Love's Labour's Lost. Other theatre includes: As You Like It (Shakespeare Theatre, Washington DC); Pygmalion (UK tour); The Jacobin (Buxton Festival Opera); The American Plan (Bath/London); The Accrington Pals (Royal Exchange, Manchester); The Thrill of Love (St James Theatre); Our Boys (West End); Goat (Traverse Theatre); Six Degrees of Separation (The Old Vic); Brighton Beach Memoirs (Palace Theatre, Watford); Philadelphia, Here I Come! (Gaiety Theatre, Dublin); A Midsummer Night's Dream (Canada); Rain Man, Some Girls, Twelfth Night, Smaller, What the Butler Saw, East (West End); Swan Lake (San Francisco Ballet); Journey's End (West End, Broadway); The American Plan, Pygmalion (New York); The Homecoming, Big White Fog, Becky Shaw (Almeida Theatre); Happy Now?, The Mentalists, Burn/Citizenship/Chatroom (National Theatre); Rapture, Blister, Burn, In the Club, Born Bad, In Arabia We’d All Be Kings, Abigail’s Party, What the Butler Saw (Hampstead Theatre); Duck, Talking to Terrorists, The Sugar Syndrome (Royal Court Theatre); Kindertransport, Breakfast with Emma (Shared Experience); The Tempest (Tron Theatre); Crown Matrimonial (Guildford/Tour); The Faith Healer (The Gate, Dublin/Broadway); God of Hell (Donmar Warehouse); National Anthems (The Old Vic); M.A.D., Little Baby Nothing (Bush Theatre); Be My Baby (Soho Theatre); Small Family Business, Little Shop of Horrors (West Yorkshire Playhouse); My Night With Reg, Dealer's Choice (Birmingham Repertory); After the Dance, Candide, Hay Fever (Oxford Stage Company); So Long Life (Theatre Royal Bath) and Wozzeck Birmingham Opera and European tour). Jonathan was Associate Designer on Disney’s The Lion King, which premiered at the New Amsterdam Theatre on Broadway and has subsequently opened worldwide. His set design for Journey’s End was nominated for a Tony Award in 2007. The production won the Tony Award for Best Revival. Jonathan won the UK Theatre Award for Best Design in 2013.

Sonia Friedman Productions (SFP) (Producer, UK General Management). SFP is a West End and Broadway theatre production company responsible for some of theatre’s most successful productions of recent years. Sonia Friedman OBE and her company have initiated and produced more than 160 new productions. The company has won numerous Olivier and Tony Awards including a record-breaking nine Olivier Awards for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Farinelli and the King follows in the footsteps of many SFP productions starring Mark Rylance, including Twelfth Night/Richard III, Jerusalem, La Bête, Boeing-Boeing (London and New York) and Nice Fish (London). Other recent SFP London productions include Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Dreamgirls, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Travesties, The Glass Menagerie, Funny Girl, A Christmas Carol, Hamlet (starring Benedict Cumberbatch) and The Book of Mormon. Recent New York productions include King Charles III, Ghosts, The River, The Mountaintop, La Cage aux Folles, and The Norman Conquests. Forthcoming productions include 1984 (Hudson Theatre, New York), The Ferryman (Gielgud Theatre, London) and Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour (Duke of York’s Theatre, London). For a full list of SFP’s theatre credits, please visit

Shakespeare’s Globe (Producer) Founded by the pioneering American actor and director Sam Wanamaker, Shakespeare’s Globe is a vibrant organization and reconstructed open-air theatre on the bank 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 prior artistic directors, Mark Rylance and Dominic Dromgoole, and current artistic director Emma Rice, 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. Emma Rice is stepping down as artistic director in Spring 2018, and her successor will be appointed this Summer. The Globe has always been internationally driven, 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 2014, Shakespeare’s Globe presented its newly constructed Sam Wanamaker Playhouse – an archetype of a Jacobean indoor theatre, completely unique amongst London venues and enabling Shakespeare's Globe to present theatre productions all year round. In 2016, the Globe celebrated the 400^th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, welcoming President Barack Obama, and seeing the return of the two-year world tour of Hamlet, during which the company travelled over 300,000 km, playing 293 performances at 202 venues in 197 countries, covering almost every country on earth. The Globe also created The Complete Walk, a series of short films, featuring scenes from every one of Shakespeare's plays. The series, which was screened for free along the bank on the Thames, featured some of the UK's
finest actors and included footage shot in the real locations of the plays, from Athens to the Ardennes, Vienna to Verona, Towton to the Tower of London.

Paula Marie Black (Producer) is a Tony Award, Olivier Award and Helpmann Award-winning producer who dedicates her efforts in theatre to women directors, playwrights and all those without a voice. Currently running on Broadway: Lead Producer 12 Tony Award Nominations including Best Musical for The Great Comet. Past productions: Fun Home (Tony Award for Best Musical), Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical), Eclipsed, On The Town, Of Mice and Men, Twelfth Night/Richard III, Romeo and Juliet, The Trip to Bountiful, Hands on a Hardbody. West End: Nice Fish, Dead Funny, Nell Gwynn (Olivier Award for Best Comedy), The Scottsboro Boys (London Evening Standard/Critics Circle Award for Best New Musical), and Made in Dagenham, devoted to "equal pay for equal work" for all the women in the UK and around the world. Tours (current): Matilda the Musical (Australia), Hedwig and the Angry Inch (USA), and Nell Gwynn (UK). Paula is a longtime supporter of the La Jolla Playhouse in California and proudly established Paula Marie Black Women’s Voices in the Art of Theatre, an endowment in perpetuity benefiting women as directors, playwrights and book (of a musical) writers.

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