Ralph Fiennes, who played the title role in Hamlet on Broadway several seasons back, returns to New York City this fall in two other Shakespearean roles. The British actor will alternate in the leads of Richard II and Coriolanus at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The Almeida Theatre Company productions will run Sept. 6 to Oct. 1.
Fiennes will kick off this tour de force with his portrayal of Richard II. The drama will play 14 performances only, debuting on Sept. 6 (a gala performance), and continuing on Sept. 7, 12-13, 16-17, 19 20, 23-24, 26 27, 30 and Oct. 1.
Coriolanus, meanwhile, will play 12 shows, Sept. 9, 10, 14-16, 21 23, and 28-30.
Fiennes' long-time collaborator, Jonathan Kent, will direct both productions. Kent guided Fiennes through Hamlet. Kent has also piloted Medea, Phedre and Britannicus, all of which featured Diana Rigg and travelled to these shores.
Fiennes' two assignments will take him to opposite sides of the dramatic spectrum. Coriolanus is a willful and wildly successful military leader, so headstrong and disdainful of the masses, that he is banished from the Rome that once cheered him. Richard II, meanwhile, is a foppish and ineffectual leader who acquires nobility only after he is unseated. Fiennes won a Tony for his Hamlet. Of late, he has been seen more frequently on film, including the recent "The End of the Affair." Other films of note include "Quiz Show," "Schindler's List" and "The English Patient."
The cast will feature Barbara Jefford as Volumnia and the Duchess of York; Linus Roache as Bolingbroke and Aufidis; Oliver Ford Davies as the Duke of York and Menenius; Emilia Fox as Queen Isabel and Virgilia; Robert Swann as Northumberland; and David Burke as John of Gaunt and Cominius.
A "BAMdialogue" will take place following the Sept. 12, 7:30 PM performance, featuring Fiennes, Roache and Kent.
--By Robert Simonson