Ralph Fiennes Will Star in Ibsen's Brand at Haymarket in 2003

News   Ralph Fiennes Will Star in Ibsen's Brand at Haymarket in 2003

Adrian Noble will show he still packs a heavyweight punch as a director when he brings Ralph Fiennes to the stage of the Theatre Royal, Haymarket in 2003, in Ibsen's Brand.

Ibsen's play — a tortured, bleak drama full of Scandinavian angst — will be presented by a commercial management, in association with the RSC, from May 29, with an opening of June 4. It will be on for a limited run to the end of August.

There couldn't be a greater contrast with Noble's most recent direction — of the stage musical version of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang — than an Ibsen play.

As the Daily Telegraph reports, Noble and Fiennes travelled to Norway to experience the landscape — and the rain — for themselves, as well as visiting the theatre in Bergen where Ibsen worked as a stage director in the 1850s.

Fiennes may be a huge film star (seen most recently as a twisted serial killer in "Red Dragon," the Hannibal Lecter film) but he also keeps his feet firmly on the stage, so his appearance at the Haymarket in a heavyweight classic is entirely in character. A suitably regal and brooding Hamlet, he was also a memorable Richard II for the Almeida, and showed an unexpected ability at comedy when he appeared as a guest star — and sent himself up mercilessly — in the original production of The Play What I Wrote.

More details about Brand will be announced nearer the time.

— By Paul Webb Theatrenow