The raison d’etre of the production is Michael Gambon’s long-awaited debut as Falstaff. But more high-profile casting has also been announced. David Bradley, who played Justice Shallow opposite Robert Stephens’ Falstaff for the Royal Shakespeare Company, returns to the plays, this time as Henry IV. Meanwhile, John Wood will be Shallow (luxury casting in the small role as Wood is a one-time RSC King Lear, also for Hytner). David Harewood — a previous NT Othello — has been cast as the macho Hotspur. And, Matthew Macfayden, a rising star in the U.K. — thanks to his starring role in the TV drama of the moment, “Spooks” — is down for Prince Hal.
The shows will be the first two productions of the 2005 Travelex Season, which offers a number of best seats for only £10, bookable in advance.
Dates and further casting will be announced soon.