Tony Winner Rylance Replaces Briers in London Endgame; Scarborough Withdraws

News   Tony Winner Rylance Replaces Briers in London Endgame; Scarborough Withdraws Tony Award winner Mark Rylance has replaced the previously announced Richard Briers as Hamm in Simon McBurney's upcoming production of Samuel Beckett's Endgame, which will now begin performances at the West End's Duchess Theatre Oct. 2 —prior to an official opening Oct. 15 – for a run to Dec. 5.

Mark Rylance
Mark Rylance Photo by Aubrey Reuben

The production was originally scheduled to begin performances Sept. 18, prior to an official opening Sept. 24, but the date change was made to facilitate the cast change.

Adrian Scarborough, who was scheduled to play Clov through Oct. 23, has also now withdrawn from the production. This cast change, according to a press statement, is "due to [Scarborough] over-committing himself for the forthcoming months. As it was a long held ambition of Richard Briers' to play Hamm alongside Scarborough – they first talked about collaborating on the production when they worked together in The Wind in the Willows at the National — he has, after much consideration and with great regret, with the producer's full support and understanding, decided not to continue with the production."

McBurney, who was due to take over from Scarborough in the role, will now play the full run.

Rylance is currently appearing at the Royal Court in the world-premiere production of Jez Butterworth's Jersusalem (running through Aug. 15). Previously artistic director of Shakespeare's Globe from 1995-2005 where his roles included the title role in Richard II and Olivia in an all-male production of Twelfth Night (winning the Olivier for Best Actor), Rylance won a Tony Award for reprising his West End performance in Boeing-Boeing on Broadway. He also won a BAFTA for "The Government Inspector" and an Olivier for playing Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing at the Queen's Theatre. He has appeared in the films "The Other Boleyn Girl," "Intimacy," "Prospero's Books" and "The Grass Arena" (Radio Times Award for Best newcomer).

In Beckett's one-act play, the aged and blind Hamm and his servant Clov co-exist in a mutually dependent and fractious relationship, with only Hamm's parents, Nell and Nagg, legless from a biking accident, for company. They are condemned to a daily routine sealed off from the void outside. The previously announced Miriam Margolyes and Tom Hickey, respectively, play Nell and Nagg. Members of the public who have booked tickets to see Endgame with Richard Briers and Adrian Scarborough can apply to their point of sale for a full refund before Oct. 2 should they no longer wish to see the production because of the change of cast. Also, customers who have booked to see a performance before the rescheduled first preview on Oct. 2 will have priority booking for a later performance of their choice.

To book tickets, contact the box office at 0844 412 4659 or visit www.nimaxtheatres.com.