Best, whose most recent stage work was playing the title role in Jamie Lloyd’s revival of “The Duchess of Malfi” at the Old Vic, will direct Joseph Millson as the Scots king. Designed by Mike Britton with music by Olly Fox, the production runs June 22-Oct. 13 with a July 2 press night.
Jeremy Herrin, who made his highly praised Globe debut in 2011 directing Best as Beatrice in “Much Ado About Nothing,” opens the season with a new production of “The Tempest.” Starring three-time Olivier-winner Roger Allam as Prospero and Jessie Buckley (“A Little Night Music”) as Miranda, Herrin’s production runs April 23-Aug. 18 with a May 2. opening.
Further new productions this season include a.d. Dominic Dromgoole’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (May 24-Oct. 12) with Michelle Terry (“Tribes”) as Titania, and three tours including “King Lear,” helmed by Bill Buckhurst, and an all-female “The Taming of the Shrew,” helmed by Joe Murphy, the latter playing Singapore, Hong Kong and Beijing following U.K. dates.
Three world preems complement the Bard output. Dromgoole helms “Gabriel” by Samuel Adamson (“All About My Mother”), starring double Classic BRIT Award-winning trumpeter Alison Balsom. Using music by Handel and Purcell, the play brings to life real and imagined leading lights of 17th-century musical London. Running July 13-Aug. 18, the play opens July 19.
“Blue Stockings,” the story of the prejudice faced by the first female students at Cambridge University at the turn of the 20th century, is the playwriting debut from helmer-turned-scribe Jessica Swale. Helmed by John Dove, the play runs Aug. 24-Oct. 11. Closing the season is “The Lightning Child,” Che Walker’s anarchic take on Euripides’ “The Bacchae.” Helmed by Matthew Dunster with songs by Arthur Darvill, the production runs Sept. 14-Oct. 12.
Dromgoole’s impressive roster comes on the heels of a record-breaking 2012 season, which played to 95% capacity with more than 400,000 tickets sold.