Lead cast announced for 'Shakespeare in Love'

The lead cast has been announced for Disney and Sonia Friedman Productions' stage adaptation of Shakespeare in Love, which opens at the Noel Coward Theatre on 23 July 2014, following previews from 2 July - booking to 25 Oct 2014.

Tom Bateman will star as Will Shakespeare, alongside Lucy Briggs-Owen as Viola De Lessps - the roles originally created by Joseph Fiennes and Gwyneth Paltrow in the 1998 British romantic comedy-drama.

This brand new stage production has been adapted by Lee Hall from the Academy Award-winning screenplay by Marc Nolan and Tom Stoppard.

Tom Bateman is an experienced stage actor, whose theatre credits include recent productions of 'The Duchess of Malfi' (Antonio) at the Old Vic; 'Much Ado About Nothing' (Claudio) at the Wyndham's Theatre and 'The Lion in Winter' (Richard) in Trevor Nunn's production at the Theatre Royal Haymarket.

Lucy Briggs-Owen's recent theatre credits include 'Fortune's Fool' (Olga) at The Old Vic; 'Noises Off' (Brooke) in the West End and 'A Midsummer Night's Dream', 'Cardenio' and 'The City Madam' with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Shakespeare in Love will be directed by Declan Donnellan, featuring designs by Nick Ormerod. The production is a joint venture between Disney Theatricals and Sonia Friedman Productions, and is described as a 'sweeping romantic comedy'. As a promising young playwright struggles with writers block, his own romantic experience of forbidden desire for a noblewoman inspires him to write one of the greatest love stories of all time, 'Romeo and Juliet'.

Further casting, including the iconic role of Queen Elizabeth I which secured an Oscar win for Judi Dench on screen, is yet to be announced.

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