Further cast members are announced to join the previously confirmed star Dominic Cooper in Stephen Jeffreys’ sexually charged masterpiece The Libertine this autumn. Directed by Olivier and Tony Award-winning Terry Johnson, the play will have a limited run from 31 August to 17 September at Bath Theatre Royal as part of the theatre’s 2016 summer season, prior to a West End engagement at the Theatre Royal Haymarket from 22 September to 3 December with opening night for press on 27 September.
Fresh from starring in AMC’s new television series Preacher and fantasy blockbuster Warcraft, Dominic Cooper makes a return to the stage to play debauched 17th Century rake the Earl of Rochester alongside Ophelia Lovibond (Elementary, Nowhere Boy, and Guardians of the Galaxy) as Elizabeth Barry. They will be joined by Jasper Britton as King Charles II and Mark Hadfield as Etherege with Will Barton as Alcock, Cornelius Booth as Harris / Huysmans / Constable, Will Merrick as Billy Downs and Richard Teverson as Sackville with further casting still to be announced.
John Wilmot, the second Earl of Rochester is a charismatic poet, playwright and rake with a legendary appetite for excess. Yet this most ardent of hedonists is forced to reconsider everything he thinks and feels when a chance encounter with an actress at the Playhouse sends him reeling. With flair and wit, this wild romp through 1670s London offers an incisive critique of life in an age of excess.
Dominic Cooper has notable stage credits, particularly at the National Theatre including The History Boys, Mother Clap’s Molly House and more recently in Phedre alongside Helen Mirren. Cooper’s numerous screen credits include The History Boys, The Duchess, My Week with Marilyn, Mamma Mia, Captain America: The First Avenger, Warcraft and AMC series Preacher.
Ophelia Lovibond is known recently in the US playing Kathryn ‘Kitty’ Winter in CBS series Elementary and in the UK as Izzy Gould in BBC comedy W1A. Film roles include Carina in 2014 film Guardians of the Galaxy, Shannon in 4,3,2,1, Marie in John Lennon biopic Nowhere Boy as well as roles in Man Up, No Strings Attached, Mr. Popper’s Penguins and Roman Polanski’s Oliver Twist. Further Television credits include Mr Sloane (SKY Atlantic), Single (Channel 4), Messiah (BBC), The Poison Tree (ITV), Delta Forever (BBC Three) and is soon to star in SKY1’s upcoming action-adventure series Hooten & The Lady. On stage, Ophelia made her professional debut in Lucy Prebble’s The Effect (Sheffield Theatres).
Jasper Britton has most recently starred in Richard II, The Jew of Malta and as the title role in Henry IV Part I and II for the Royal Shakespeare Company, The Barbican and in New York. His additional stage work includes Race (Hampstead Theatre), The Picture of Dorian Gray (Abbey Theatre), Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (Sheffield Crucible) Fabrication (The Print Room), The Last Cigarette (Chichester Festival Theatre/West End), Fram (National Theatre), Oedipus (National Theatre), Rhinoceros (Royal Court), Private Lives (Hampstead Theatre), The Taming Of The Shrew (Royal Shakespeare Company in Washington D.C./West End), Japes (Theatre Royal Haymarket), The Tempest (Globe Theatre) and The Visit (Theatre de Complicite). Film credits include Blood, Anonymous, Morris: A Life With Bells On and The New World.
Mark Hadfield’s recent theatre credits including Richard III (Almedia), The Painkiller (Garrick Theatre), Made in Dagenham (Adelphi Theatre), Jeeves and Wooster: Perfect Nonsense (Duke of York’s Theatre), Singing in the Rain (Palace Theatre) and Thérèse Raquin (National Theatre), for which he was nominated for an Olivier Award. In addition to his extensive stage work, Mark recently starred as Stefan Lindeman in Wallander (BBC). Further television credits include Trollied (Sky 1), From the Cradle to the Grave (BBC) and Maigret (ITV).
Will Barton’s theatre credits include Fings Ain’t Wot They Used T’Be (Theatre Royal Stratford East), Joking Apart (Nottingham Playhouse/Salisbury Playhouse), The Boy On The Swing (Arcola Theatre). He most recently starred in Toast alongside Matthew Kelly as part of Brits Off Broadway Season in New York. Television and film credits include The Theory Of Everything (Working Title), Holby City (BBC), Switch (ITV), New Tricks (BBC) and Doctors (BBC).
Cornelius Booth is currently starring as Chopper in Land of our Fathers (UK Tour / Soho Theatre). Further theatre credits include Peter Pan Goes Wrong (UK Tour), Of Mice and Men (West Yorkshire Playhouse) and The Machine (Donmar Warehouse).
Will Merrick is best known for his roles as Alo in Skins (Channel 4) and Jay in Richard Curtis’ film About Time. Theatre credits include The Ghost Train (Royal Exchange Theatre), Merlin (Royal & Derngate), Wendy and Peter Pan (RSC) and Boys (Arcola Theatre). Additional television credits include Brief Encounters (ITV), Fail (BBC), The Rack Pack (BBC), Atlantis (BBC) and Doctor Who (BBC).
Richard Teverson’s theatre credits include Private Lives (ATG Tour), The Winslow Boy (Old Vic), After the Dance (National Theatre) and The 39 Steps (Criterion Theatre). Richard is also known for his television work as Dr Ryder in Downton Abbey (ITV), Jamaica Inn (BBC), The Bletchley Circle (ITV) and Spies of Warsaw (BBC).
Stephen Jeffreys is the author of A Going Concern, The Clink and Valued Friends, which won him the Evening Standard Most Promising Playwright Award.
Terry Johnson is a dramatist and director who has won numerous theatre awards including two Oliviers as a playwright for Best Comedy and a Tony for Best Director of a Musical for La Cage Aux Folles. Other directing credits include The Graduate, Entertaining Mr Sloane and One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest.
The Libertine was first performed on tour and at the Royal Court Theatre alongside the Restoration comedy, The Man of Mode, which presented another, contemporary view of Rochester. It later transferred to Chicago’s Steppenwolf starring John Malkovich and directed by Terry Johnson before Johnny Depp took the title role in the 2004 film adaptation.
The Libertine plays at Theatre Royal Haymarket from 22 September to 3 December 2016
Photo: Johan Persson