Open Air Theatre initial casting announced

Initial casting has been announced for the Open Air Theatre in Regent's Park's upcoming summer productions.

Olivier Award-winning actress Michelle Terry will play the title role in Shakespeare's Henry V which runs at the venue from 17 June to 9 July 2016, with an official opening on 22 June 2016.

An acclaimed Shakespearian actress, Terry's credits include productions at The Globe, RSC and the National Theatre where she is currently in 'Cleansed'. In 2011 she was awarded ‘Best Actress in a Supporting Role’ at the Olivier Awards for her portrayal of Sylvia in the Royal Court Theatre production of 'Tribes'.

The production is directed by Robert Hastie with designs by Anna Fleischle.

"As England triumphs at the Battle of Agincourt during her quest to win the French crown, Henry V becomes one of the great warrior kings leading “we happy few, we band of brothers” in Shakespeare’s retelling of this famous victory."

Director Robert Hastie said of the announcement:

"This summer we're expecting the results of a MOD consultation that aims to put female soldiers on the front line of combat, as well as the publication at last of the Chilcott report into why our country goes to war, and who we trust to take us there. As he has done pretty much every year since he died 400 years ago, Shakespeare is proving himself our contemporary. Our first night is the day before the EU referendum. I can't think of a better time to stage this play about England's relationship with its European neighbours.

It was also announced that Eastenders star Declan Bennett will play Jesus in the venue's revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar which runs from 15 July to 27 August 2016.

Bennett's credits include 'Once' (Phoenix), 'Taboo' (Venue Theatre), 'RENT' (US tour and Broadway) and 'American Idiot' (Broadway).

Directed by Tim Sheader, the production features musical direction by Tom Deering, design by Tom Scutt and choreography by Drew McOnie.

Further casting information for all productions is yet to be announced.

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