The RSC production is directed by the company's chief associate director, Gregory Doran, and is being presented in the West End by Bill Kenwright and Thelma Holt.
In the play, two men translate the word of God into the English tongue. For one, it means death at the stake. For the other, it could mean an archbishop's mitre. After almost a century of unrest, the King James Bible was intended to end the violent upheavals of the English reformation. But deep-seated conflicts force a leading translator to confront the betrayal of his youthful religious ideals, for the sake of social peace.
David Edgar's play marks the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Bible, one of the most widely published texts in the English language which has been recognized for centuries as both a religious and literary classic. Edgar's previous plays for the RSC, where he is an honorary associate artist, include his adaptation of Nicholas Nickleby (subsequently seen on Broadway), Destiny, The Jail Diary of Albie Sachs, Maydays, Pentecost and The Prisoner's Dilemma. The National Theatre has produced his plays Entertaining Strangers, The Shape of the Table, Albert Speer and Playing with Fire.
The cast includes Bruce Alexander (George Abbot, Bishop of London), Jamie Ballard (Young Lancelot Andrewes/Henry’s Chamberlain), Stephen Boxer (William Tyndale), Paul Chahidi (Richard Thompson/William Laud), Oliver Ford Davies (Lancelot Andrewes), James Hayes (Laurence Chaderton/Archdeacon), Jim Hooper (John Overall), Youssef Kerkour (Painter/Prison Keeper), Joseph Kloska (Samuel Ward),Sam Marks (Henry, Prince of Wales), Ian Midlane (Churchwarden/Workman), Mark Quartley (Catholic Priest/Harington), Daniel Stewart (Clerk), Simon Thorp (Sir Henry Saville/Squire), Annette McLaughlin (Lady Alletta Carey/Squire’s Wife) and Jodie McNee (Mary Culler).
The production is designed by Francis O’Connor with lighting by Tim Mitchell and music by Paul Englishby. Sound is by Jonathan Ruddick. To book tickets, contact the box office on 0844 412 4659 or visit www.nimaxtheatres.com.