James McAvoy Heads Back to London Stage in 'The Ruling Class'

James McAvoy

The actor follows his acclaimed work in 'Macbeth' with a return to the same theater in a role made famous by Peter O'Toole in the 1972 screen version

Having played the tyrannical monarch of a postapocalyptic Scotland in Macbeth, James McAvoy will reteam with director Jamie Lloyd early next year to tackle another kind of delusional nobleman in a revival of the cult satire The Ruling Class.

Written by Peter Barnes, the play was first performed in 1968 and was adapted for the screen in 1972, earning a best actor Oscar nomination for Peter O'Toole as Jack, a paranoid schizophrenic who believes he is the Messiah.

When his father, a member of the House of Lords, dies in a bizarre accident, Jack becomes the 14th Earl of Gurney, landing him at the center of a plot of scheming and mayhem as the supposedly more respectable members of the family maneuver to steal the estate out from under him.

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Like Macbeth, which earned McAvoy a 2013 Olivier Award nomination for best actor, The Ruling Class will be part of Lloyd's Trafalgar Transformed season at London's Trafalgar Studios.

Beginning previews on Jan. 14, the play runs in a limited engagement through April 11. Official opening night is Jan. 27.

McAvoy has recently been onscreen in X-Men: Days of Future Past and The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby. Next up, he has Paul McGuigan's Victor Frankenstein, in which he stars with Daniel Radcliffe, Jessica Brown Findlay and Andrew Scott. The Fox release has set an Oct. 2, 2015, opening date.

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