McDiarmid — best known for his role as the Emperor in the “Star Wars” movie series — used to run rival fringe theatre the Almeida alongside director Jonathan Kent, who will also work at the Covent Garden venue in September when he directs Hecuba. Donmar boss Michael Grandage directs, with designs by Christopher Oram. Neil Austin provides the lighting, Adam Cork the music, with sound designed by Fergus O’Hare. The play tells of an Italian nobleman who falls from his horse. When he comes round, he believes he’s the medieval German Emperor Henry IV, an illusion his servants have maintained for 20 years. The Donmar production will use a new version of the play by Tom Stoppard.
The cast also includes Francesca Annis, Stuart Burt, Robert Demeger, Tania Emery, James Lance, Neil McDermott, Brian Poyser, Nitzan Sharron, Orlando Wells and David Yelland. After the show ends at the Donmar June 26, a UK tour will take in towns including the Lowry Centre in Salford (June 29-July 3), the Old Vic in Bristol (July 5-10) and the Everyman in Liverpool (July 7 13).
For further information, call (0)207 240 4882.