Cowan will play the title role in a new production of Macbeth that launches the season, opposite Rogers as Lady Macbeth. Rowan will play the title role in the rarely performed Henry VIII, and Parker will play Prince Hal and Gaunt will play Worcester and Shallow in Henry IV Parts 1 and 2.
The season, presented under the umbrella title of the Kings and Rogues, will run from April 23 to Oct. 3, and also include the world premieres of Howard Brenton's Anne Boleyn and Nell Leyshon's Bedlam (the Globe's first-ever staging of a known female playwright in its entire history), as well as the return of Christopher Luscombe's hit 2008 production of The Merry Wives of Windsor.
Cowan, who was last seen on the London stage as Stanley Kowalski in the Donmar Warehouse's production of A Streetcar Named Desire opposite Rachel Weisz, also previously appeared at the Donmar in Michael Grandage's original production of Frost/Nixon, which subsequently transferred to the Gielgud. Other theatre credits include The Revenger's Tragedy (National Theatre) and Don Carlos (Sheffield Theatres and Gielgud Theatre, London). His screen credits include playing Mr. Darcy in the TV drama series "Lost in Austen" and the films "The Golden Compass," "Happy Go Lucky" and "Alexander." Rogers was seen as Celia in the Globe's 2009 production of As You Like It. Macbeth is directed by Lucy Bailey, who previously directed Timon of Athens and Titus Andronicus at the Globe, and is choreographed by Venezuelan choreographer Javier De Frutus, who won the Olivier Award for Best Theatre Choreographer for Cabaret. The production is designed by Katrina Lindsay, and composed by Orlando Gough. It begins performances April 23, prior to an official opening April 29, running in rep through June 27.
Rowan is currently appearing in the West End in The Misanthrope at the Comedy Theatre (through March 13). He has previously appeared at the Globe as Touchstone in the 2009 production of As You Like It. Other stage credits include A Voyage Around My Father (Donmar Warehouse and subsequently West End), Happy Now? and Iphegina in Aulis (both National). His television credits include "Catwalk Dogs" with Kris Marshall, "Baby Boom," Lynda La Plante's "Trial & Retribution," "The Family Man" with Trevor Eve and "Hearts And Bones." Henry VIII is directed by Mark Rosenblatt, who has previously directed Holding Fire! at Shakespeare's Globe, designed by Angela Davies and composed by Nigel Hess. It begins performances May 15, prior to an official opening May 24, running in rep through Aug. 21.
Parker, best known for his appearance in the original cast of Alan Bennett's The History Boys at the National Theatre and subsequently on Broadway and in the film version of the play, previously appeared at the Globe in As You Like It and A New World. Gaunt, who starred in the TV series "Next of Kin," has appeared on stage recently in The Family Reunion (Donmar Warehouse), The Cherry Orchard (Chichester Festival Theatre) and King Lear and The Seagull (for the RSC, alternating in the latter with Ian McKellen as Sorin). Henry IV Parts 1 and 2 will be directed by Globe artistic director Dominic Dromgoole, designed by Jonathan Fensom and composed by by Claire van Kampen, who previously collaborated with Dromgoole on Love's Labour's Lost and King Lear. Henry IV Part 1 will begin performances June 6, prior to an official opening July 14, for a run in rep through Oct. 2. Part 2 will begin performances July 3, prior to an official opening July 14, for a run in rep through Oct. 3. Howard Brenton's new play Anne Boleyn, which dramatizes the life and legacy of Henry VIII's notorious second wife as both a sexually ambitious woman and a religious reformer, will be directed by John Dove, who previously directed Brenton's In Extremis at the Globe. It is designed by Michael Taylor. It will begin performances July 24, prior to an official opening July 28, for a run through Aug. 21.
Nell Layshon, who won the Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Playwright for Comfort Me with Apples, will become the first-ever known female playwright to have a play presented at the Globe in its entire history, when it premieres her new play Bedlam. Described in press materials as a fictional portrayal of London that explores the link between art and madness, it will be directed by Jessica Swale, who recently directed The Rivals at Southwark Playhouse. It will begin performances Sept. 5, prior to an official opening Sept. 9, for a run through Oct. 1.
Finally, Christopher Luscombe's 2008 production of The Merry Wives of Windsor, designed by Janet Bird and composed by Nigel Hess, returns, beginning performances Aug. 14, prior to an official opening Aug. 19, for a run through Oct. 2.
Public booking for the season is now open. To book, contact the box office at 020 7901 9919, or visit www.shakespeares-globe.org.