Opening 01 Apr
Runtime: 4h 30m
Ian McKellen plays the roistering Sir John Falstaff, the lying, drunken knight who acts as a substitute father figure to the young Prince Hal in Robert Icke’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s Henry IV plays, conflated into a single evening. The combination of Icke—one of our best directors—with McKellen—an actor who is still up for a challenge even in his 85th year—should pay dividends. Hand on heart, I can say Icke has never directed anything I’ve seen that I haven’t found compelling. From Hamlet with Andrew Scott to The Doctor with Juliet Stevenson, this is a director who delivers.
Shakespeare's historical drama tracks Hal, the youthful prince and heir to the throne, navigating a sequence of escapades alongside his elder companion Falstaff, as the specter of war intensifies. Icke's fresh adaptation features McKellen assuming the part of Falstaff, while additional cast members will soon be announced. The show will grace the Noël Coward Theatre from April 1st to June 22nd, 2024, preceded by previews at New Wimbledon Theatre from March 1st to March 9th, 2024, and at Manchester Opera House from March 14th to March 23rd, 2024. Please note, the show will run for 4 1/2 hours with 2 intervals.