Mark Rylance Stars at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

It has been announced that Tony and Olivier Award winner Mark Rylance will take the lead role of Philippe V in Claire van Kampen's new play with music Farinelli and the King which runs at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse from 11 February to 8 March 2015, with an official opening night on 20 February 2015.

Rylance will be joined in the production by Iestyn Davies and William Purefoy who will both alternate the role of the castrato Farinelli.

Farinelli and the King is set in eighteenth-century Spain and Italy, and tells the true story of Farinelli, once the world's most famous castrato, and his decision to trade fame and fortune for a life of servitude at the court of King Philippe V. This new play explores the relationship between Farinelli and the royal couple and will feature some of the greatest arias of the period.

Mark Rylance last appeared at the Globe in 2012 in Tim Carroll's productions of 'Twelfth Night' and 'Richard III', which subsequently transferred to the West End and Broadway, where he was nominated for two Tony Awards at the 2014 ceremony.

Iestyn Davies's recent awards include the 2013 Critics' Circle Award for Exceptional Young Talent and the 2014 Gramophone Recital Award for his recent CD, 'Arise, my muse'. He has performed in opera and concerts, in various roles for companies such as New York's Metropolitan Opera, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, and Paris' Opera Comique.

William Purefoy was a finalist in the Kathleen Ferrier Awards and winner of the NFMS Young Concert Artists Award. He has performed with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Hanover Band, the English Concert and The Sixteen at venues such as the Royal Albert Hall for the BBC Proms.

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