The knight-actor’s last London turn was in the same director’s staging of The Tempest which, like Don Carlos, came to London via Sheffield. Jacobi plays the authoritarian Spanish King Philip II, who finds both his kingdom and his marriage threatened by his son Carlos. Also in the cast are Richard Coyle, Claire Price, Una Stubbs, Ian Hogg and Elliot Cowan. The show is played in a new translation by Mike Poulton — a compression of the original, which runs far longer than this show’s three hours.
Previous to The Tempest Jacobi had last appeared in the West End in 2001 in Hugh Whitemore’s God Only Knows. An acclaimed stage actor who was spotted by Laurence Olivier and hired for his National Theatre ensemble, Jacobi was last seen on Broadway in 2000’s Uncle Vanya. He won a Tony Award for Best Actor in 1985 for Much Ado About Nothing. His screen work includes his career-making turn in the title role of the 1976 BBC drama series “I, Claudius” and such movies as “Gladiator” and “Gosford Park.”
The show, designed by Christopher Oram, is produced in London by Matthew Byam Shaw, Act Productions and Matthew Mitchell. It officially opens on Feb. 3, and is booking until April 30.
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