Tony Nominee David Grindley Will Direct Stratford's Misanthrope Starring Brian Bedford

News   Tony Nominee David Grindley Will Direct Stratford's Misanthrope Starring Brian Bedford David Grindley will take over directorial duties for Stratford Shakespeare Festival's summer production of The Misanthrope, which was to be directed by Brian Bedford, who also stars.

Bedford will still play Oronte in the Moliere comedy in Ontario, but his acclaimed performance in Broadway's The Importance of Being Earnest will keep him in New York City longer than expected, preventing him from being able to direct the French comedy. The Roundabout Theatre Company revival of Earnest, in which he plays Lady Bracknell, got strong reviews and was recently extended by 17 weeks (to July 3). It play Broadway's American Airlines Theatre.

Sara Topham, who plays Gwendolen Fairfax in Earnest, will also return to play Célimène in The Misanthrope, as well as Olivia in Twelfth Night.

Grindley's Broadway credits include The Philanthropist and The American Plan in 2009, as well as Pygmalion and Journey's End in 2007. Journey's End won a Tony Award for Best Revival and earned Grindley a Tony nomination for Best Direction.

Bedford's successful Broadway production of The Importance of Being Earnest is based on his 2009 Stratford production, and uses Desmond Heeley's Stratford scenic and costume designs.

The Misanthrope will also feature Ben Carlson, Juan Chioran, Martha Farrell, Kelli Fox, Steve Ross and more. The play, translated into English verse by Richard Wilbur, will play the Stratford's flagship space, the Festival Theatre, July 31-Oct. 29. It opens Aug. 12. Grindley, who made his Stratford debut in 2009 with A Midsummer Night's Dream, is well respected for his work in the U.S. and U.K. His West End directing credits include Honour with Diana Rigg, Abigail's Party (which was nominated for an Olivier Award), The Philanthropist, Some Girls with David Schwimmer, and Loot.

The Stratford Shakespeare Festival's 2011 season, which begins April 16, features The Merry Wives of Windsor, Camelot, Twelfth Night, The Misanthrope, The Grapes of Wrath, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Homecoming, Richard III, Titus Andronicus, Shakespeare's Will, The Little Years and Hosanna.

Tickets are available by calling (800) 567-1600 or visiting www.stratfordshakespearefestival.com.

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