Mark Rylance Returning to Broadway in 'Farinelli and the King'

Courtesy of Marc Brenner
Mark Rylance in 'Farinelli and the King'

The Oscar and three-time Tony winner will star in a New York transfer of the Shakespeare's Globe production of Claire van Kampen's play with music, beginning performances in December.

This time next year, Mark Rylance could very well be a contender to win his fourth Tony Award.

The actor will return to Broadway in December in Farinelli and the King, a new play written by his wife, Claire van Kampen, who also composed original 18th century-style music for the work about a famed court castrato whose voice had the power to soothe a troubled insomniac monarch. Rylance will play King Philippe V of Spain, who forces the singer to choose between a life of solitude and fame in the great opera houses of Europe.

The humorous and haunting play premiered in London at Shakespeare's Globe in February 2015 and went on later that year to a successful West End run, receiving six Olivier Award nominations.

Directed by John Dove and designed by Jonathan Fensom, Farinelli and the King will play a limited engagement on Broadway, beginning previews Dec. 5 at the Belasco Theatre ahead of a Dec. 17 opening, and running through March 25, 2018.

Sonia Friedman, Shakespeare's Globe and Paula Marie Black will produce the Broadway transfer, which follows the smash hit 2013 run of the Globe's double bill, Twelfth Night and Richard II, also produced by Friedman at the Belasco. Rylance scored his third Tony Award as Olivia in the all-male staging of Twelfth Night, winning for best featured actor in a play.

Widely considered to be the greatest stage actor of his generation, Rylance had previously won lead actor Tonys for Boeing-Boeing in 2008 and for Jerusalem in 2011. He won an Oscar for best supporting actor in 2016 for Steven Spielberg's Bridge of Spies and was nominated for an Emmy in 2015 for his performance in Wolf Hall.

Sam Crane, who played Farinelli in London, will reprise his role on Broadway, along with castmates Huss Garbiya, Colin Hurley and Edward Peel. Additional casting is to come. Grammy-winning countertenor Iestyn Davies will appear as the singing voice of Farinelli, a role he will share with another artist to be announced.