Act­ing roy­alty

Where London - - Entertainment -

Mark Ry­lance, one of the UK’s most re­spected ac­tors, re­turns to the West End this month fresh from his ac­claimed per­for­mance as Thomas Cromwell in the BBC TV adap­ta­tion of Wolf Hall. Ry­lance stars as King Philippe V of Spain in Farinelli andtheKing (from 14 Sep; left), the de­but play from the bril­liant com­poser Claire van Kam­pen (who also hap­pens to be mar­ried to the ac­tor). It tells the true story of Queen Is­abella of Spain’s at­tempt to al­le­vi­ate her hus­band’s de­pres­sion by hir­ing one of the big­gest opera stars of the day, an Ital­ian cas­trato singer known as Farinelli, to sing for him. The show trans­fers to the West End fol­low­ing an ac­claimed run at the Sam Wana­maker Play­house at Shake­speare’s Globe last win­ter.

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