McDiarmid’s Stratford return to play Galileo

Published: 26 January 2013
Reporter: Steve Orme

Ian McDiarmid in rehearsal for A Life of Galileo Credit: Ellie Kurttz
The cast of A Life of Galileo in rehearsal Credit: Ellie Kurttz
Roxana Silbert, director of A Life of Galileo

Ian McDiarmid will make his first appearance for the Royal Shakespeare Company since 1985 in the title role of Brecht's A Life of Galileo which opens in Stratford this week.

This new translation by RSC writer-in-residence Mark Ravenhill is directed by Roxana Silbert, artistic director of Birmingham REP whose most recent work for the company includes Measure for Measure, Richard III and Dunsinane.

The rest of the cast comprises Gethin Anthony (Cardinal Bellarmin); Matthew Aubrey (Andrea); Adam Burton (Vanni); Jake Fairbrother (Ludovico); Joel Gillman (little monk); Nia Gwynne (first scholar); Paul Hamilton (Federzoni); Susan Momoko Hingley (ballad singer's wife); Joan Iyiola (ensemble); Youssef Kerkour (philosopher); Chris Lew Kum Hoi (Cosimo De Medici); Siu Hun Li (very thin monk); Jodie Mcnee (Virginia); Patrick Romer (very old cardinal/senator); Sadie Shimmin (Mrs Sarti); James Tucker (bursar); Martin Turner (Sagredo/cardinal inquisitor required); and Philip Whitchurch (Cardinal Barberini/ballad singer).

Designer is Tom Scutt; lighting is by Rick Fisher; music and sound Nick Powell; and movement Struan Leslie.

A Life of Galileo runs in the Swan Theatre in Stratford from Thursday (31 January) until Saturday 30 March.

Roxana Silbert will discuss bringing one of Brecht's most famous plays to life in a talk in the Swan on Wednesday, 6 February at 5:15PM. Tickets cost £5.

A free, post-show talk will be held on Thursday 7 March.