LONDON — James McAvoy (“Atonement”) will lead a new West End production of “Macbeth,” adding to the burgeoning number of star-driven productions with Vanessa Redgrave, James Earl Jones and Kim Cattrall headlining in the London 2013 legit season.
Scots thesp McAvoy, who has four movies opening in 2013 including Danny Boyle’s “Trance,” returns to the West End fir the first time since 2009 outing “Three Days of Rain” to play the Bard’s anti-hero. The production is the first in a season of work by helmer Jamie Lloyd (the Donmar’s “Passion,” Roundabout’s “Cyrano de Bergerac”) who is launching Trafalgar Transformed, a season of work created for the Ambassador Theater Group at Trafalgar Studios, one of its West End houses. Running Feb. 9-April 27, the production, designed by Soutra Gilmour, opens Feb. 19. Further casting has yet to be announced.
Later in the year Kim Cattrall will make her debut at Kevin Spacey’s Old Vic in a new production of Tennessee Williams’ “Sweet Bird of Youth” helmed by Marianne Elliott (“War Horse”). The co-production with Nica Burns and Max Weizenhoffer, designed by Rae Smith (“War Horse”), begins preview June 1 and opens June 12.
That limited engagement will be immediately followed by Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones as old-sparring partners Beatrice and Benedick in a production of Shakespeare’s tragi-comedy “Much Ado About Nothing.” The production sees a return to the director’s chair for Mark Rylance, currently starring in the West End transfers of the Shakespeare’s Globe/Sonia Friedman productions of “Richard III” and “Twelfth Night.” Previewing from Sept 7, it opens Sept. 19.
The 2013 Old Vic slate kicks off with a production of Terence Rattigan’s drama “The Winslow Boy,” helmed by Lindsay Posner in a run that begins previews March 8 ahead of a March 19 opening. Rattigan’s play has been filmed twice, including the 1999 version helmed by David Mamet. Casting has yet to be announced.
In other West End moves, “Rock of Ages,” which survived a slew of bad notices at its 2011 London opening at the 1,280-seat Shaftesbury Theater, will move into the 700-seat Garrick Theater following the early January shuttering of new tuner flop “Loserville.”