Gregory Doran’s production, which features Harriet Walter’s Cleopatra opposite Stewart’s Antony, will be followed by The Tempest, which is directed by Rupert Goold with Stewart playing Prospero. The Tempest opens Feb. 28 following previews that begin Feb. 22.
Stewart became an international star playing Captain Jean-Luc Picard in the Star Trek film and television series. In cinema he has continued his Sci-Fi roles playing Professor X in the "X-Men" movies.
But before he became familiar to television and film audiences, Stewart was, and still is, a highly rated stage actor with many Broadway and West End performances to his name. His RSC roles include Shylock, and more recently he appeared in West End revivals of David Mamet's A Life in the Theatre and Ibsen's The Master Builder.
Both Antony and Cleoptra and The Tempest were staged last year in Stratford as part of the RSC’s Complete Works season. They were preceded at the Novello by director Marianne Elliott's Much Ado About Nothing, also part of the Complete Works season. The ambitious year-long festival was launched on Shakespeare’s birthday, April 23, 2006, and features 23 RSC shows, 17 international productions and a further 14 productions by UK theatre companies.
The transfer to the Novello represents the RSC’s second season at impresario Cameron Mackintosh’s newly refurbished Novello Theatre, formerly the Albery. For more on Antony and Cleoptra and The Tempest, call (0)870 950 0940.