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Farinelli and the King hero image
Farinelli and the King hero image
Farinelli and the King hero image

Farinelli and the King Tickets

Duke of York's Theatre

Wolf Hall star and esteemed stage actor Mark Rylance returns to the West End stage to star in the transfer of The Globe’s sell out production of Claire Van Kampen’s new play Farinelli and the King. The play tells the real life story of castrato singer Farinelli and his relationship with King Philippe V of Spain.

Mark Rylance will return to the West End stage to star in the Globe theatre’s transfer of Claire Van Kampen’s sell out hit Farinelli and the King.

The play, Van Kampen’s first, received high praise from the critics when it premiered at the Globe’s indoor space, The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse earlier this year.

Set in 18th Century Spain the play tells the story of real life castrato singer Farinelli and his relationship with King Philippe V. The King is suffering from depression and insomnia and the Queen has tried everything to cure him. Hearing of a celebrated castrato singer who possesses a beautiful bewitching voice she summons him to the court but will this prove a blessing or a curse for the singer as he is drawn away from public life to perform exclusively for the King?

Claire Van Kampen is also a composer having written the Tudor music for the recent BBC adaptation of Wolf Hall, which also starred Rylance as Thomas Cromwell. This play blends Van Kampen’s love of music and drama as it contains traditional music played on Baroque instruments and features many of the arias that would have been performed by the real life Farinelli in the 1730’s. In the show these will be performed, at some performances, by opera star Iestyn Davies, who will share the singing role with fellow opera singers Rupert Enticknap and Owen Willetts.

Mark Rylance is one of the country’s most respected actors. The Tony and Olivier Award winner is best known for his tour de force performance in Jezz Butterworth’s Jerusalem in the West End and on Broadway. He was last seen performing in the West End back in 2012 in a double bill of Twelfth Night and Richard III which also transferred from the Globe Theatre. The original cast reprise their roles including Sam Crane in the acting part of Farinelli.

This production is directed by John Dove and features a design by Jonathan Fensom.

The Duke of York’s theatre will be transformed and lit almost entirely by candlelight for this production to echo the atmosphere of the Sam Wanamaker’s Playhouse.

Sorry this show closed 05 December 2015, we recommend these similar productions.

Fawlty Towers
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Performance dates:
05 Dec 2015 - 05 Dec 2015
Audience Notes:
Fans of classical Baroque music will find this how a real treat. The romantic candlelight theatre and music also make it the perfect outing for a romantic date. Mark Rylance is widely considered to be Britain’s finest living actor; don’t miss your opportunity to see him in action.

Farinelli and the King Reviews

2 Reviews
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User Reviews


The story is simple but beautiful, but the performance of Mark Rylance is always spectacular.

Performance date: 16 September 2015

Mark Rylance and the play were the best, wonderful stuff, with counter tenor singing thrown in too! Just wish I could have been nearer the stage!

Performance date: 25 November 2015
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