Irons will narrate Stravinsky's The Soldier's Tale at the Old Vic for one night only, at 7:30 PM Nov. 21.
The work, about a soldier who sells his soul to the devil, was written during World War One. Now, The Motion Group is reviving it, in a new translation by Jeremy Sams, so that its examination of morality can apply to another war torn era. After the London warm-up date, the show (alongside a newly written companion piece called The Civilian's Tale) is scheduled to go to Baghdad in 2005, and will be used as a platform from which to forge collaborations with Iraqi artists. Musicians for the show will be drawn from the UK's Philharmonia Orchestra.
The Soldier's Tale has traditionally been a draw for big-name actors; in his last years, it was a calling-card for Peter Ustinov. Here, Eddie Redmayne, who played Jonathan Pryce's son in Edward Albee's The Goat, Or Who Is Sylvia at the Almeida Theatre and in the West End, will co-star as the soldier of the title.
Irons has done plenty of stage work in the past, notably Leontes in The Winter's Tale for the Royal Shakespeare Company and a Tony-winning performance in The Real Thing on Broadway in 1984. These days, however, he devotes most of his time to film, and his resume boasts credits such as "Reversal of Fortune," "The Lion King" and "Die Hard with a Vengeance."