The show, which will open at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket, will begin previews Oct. 20, opening Oct. 27. For Scott, who’s made a big-screen name for himself with films including “Mission Impossible II” and “Enigma,” this will be the first return to the London stage since he starred in Nick Whitby’s To the Green Fields Beyond for Sam Mendes at the Donmar Warehouse in 2000. Britton is a more frequent theatre actor, having appeared, in recent years, in Simon Gray’s Japes and Macbeth at Shakespeare’s Globe.
Anouilh’s play has attracted plenty of major stars in the lead roles of Henry II and his troublesome but loving Archbishop of Canterbury, including Laurence Olivier and Peter O’Toole as well as Richard Burton in the 1964 film version. The last major West End production, also at the Haymarket, was in 1991 and starred Robert Lindsay and Derek Jacobi.
The new production will be directed by John Caird and produced by Kim Poster. There will be a new adaptation by Frederic Raphael. According to the Daily Mail, Scott is taking his role seriously. He’s wading through books on Becket’s life and times to read during down-time on his current movie-shoot, in New Zealand, for “Perfect Creature.”