WESSEX GROVE AND UNDERBELLY
IN ASSOCIATION WITH SHAKESPEARE THEATRE COMPANY, WASHINGTON, D.C. PRESENT
RALPH FIENNES AND INDIRA VARMA IN
PLAYING IN LIVERPOOL, EDINBURGH, LONDON AND WASHINGTON, D.C. FROM NOVEMBER 2023
SIGN UP NOW AT MacbethTheShow.com
Wessex Grove and Underbelly, in association with Shakespeare Theatre Company, Washington, D.C. are delighted to announce that Tony and BAFTA Award-winning Ralph Fiennes will star as Macbeth and Olivier Award-winning Indira Varma will star as Lady Macbeth in an intimate new production of William Shakespeare’s MACBETH which will open in Liverpool this November.
Directed by Simon Godwin with set design by Frankie Bradshaw and an adaptation by Emily Burns, this new production will break free from the confines of traditional theatres and instead be staged in four site-specific warehouses in four iconic cities.
MACBETH will play seasons in Liverpool (24 November – 16 December 2023), Edinburgh (13 – 27 January 2024), London (11 February – 23 March 2024) and Washington, D.C. (2 – 28 April 2024).
Tickets for the UK dates will go on sale in June. Tickets for The Washington, D.C. season are on sale now as part of a six-play subscription to Shakespeare Theatre Company’s 23/24 Season.
For priority booking access and further information please sign up at MacbethTheShow.com.
Further creative team and full casting to be announced soon.
Ralph Fiennes said today “Ever since we collaborated on Man and Superman I’ve longed to work with Indira Varma and Simon Godwin again. Simon brought us together then and he’s reuniting us for Macbeth. Simon’s visionary process is exceptionally collaborative. This will be my third time working with him – I’m truly excited. Macbeth is a play that always carries relevance but with wars in Ukraine and Sudan – and murderous authoritarian regimes very present in the world the play seems particularly current. But Shakespeare’s examination of the MINDS of his protagonists – the intimate nature of this – is what gives the play its brilliant and terrifying focus.”
Indira Varma said today “I’m thrilled to be heading back in to the rehearsal room with Ralph Fiennes and Simon Godwin exploring Macbeth and Lady M’s fraught relationship and the play’s themes of ambition and corruption which still feel chillingly poignant in our modern world.”
Director Simon Godwin said today “I’m thrilled to be reuniting with Ralph and Indira after our acclaimed Man and Superman at the NT. Macbeth is a remarkable portrait of a marriage and a terrifying account of the drift towards tyranny. The experience will be heightened by playing in different spaces across different cities before ending our journey – during a US election year – in America’s capital. I’m thrilled to be embarking on an international journey driven by Shakespeare’s capacity to urgently reflect our shared and volatile present.”
Producers Wessex Grove and Underbelly said today “We feel very honoured and excited to be working with Ralph, Indira, Simon and Frankie on such a bold artistic vision for one of Shakespeare’s greatest plays. Both Wessex Grove and Underbelly’s producing ethos is very much to push the boundaries of what a theatrical experience can be and who that experience is for. This production of Macbeth will inhabit stunning warehouses in four great cities, bringing the audience even closer to Shakespeare’s work, and in doing so we hope encouraging a whole new audience to discover the brilliance of live theatre.”
For further press information please contact
Ralph Fiennes most recent work in the theatre includes Straight Line Crazy by David Hare at The Bridge Theatre and The Shed in New York. Prior to this he toured the country with his own production of T.S.Eliot’s The Four Quartets before transferring to the Harold Pinter Theatre. During the pandemic he also appeared in David Hare’s Beat The Devil at The Bridge Theatre directed by Nicholas Hytner. Both productions were performed under social distancing regulations.
In 2018 he appeared in Antony and Cleopatra at National Theatre for which he received the Evening Standard Best Actor Award. Other work at the National Theatre includes Man & Superman, Oedipus, The Talking Cure, Six Characters In Search Of An Author, Fathers And Sons and Ting Tang Mine.
His extensive work at the Royal Shakespeare Company includes Troilus & Cressida, King Lear, Love’s Labour Lost, Henry VI in The Plantagenets, Much Ado About Nothing, King John, The Man Who Came To Dinner and Ibsen’s Brand which later transferred to the Haymarket Theatre. For the Almeida he has appeared as Richard III for which he received the Evening Standard Best Actor Award, Richard II, Coriolanus, Ivanov, and Hamlet all directed by Jonathan Kent. Hamlet was presented at The Hackney Empire and then The Belasco Theater on Broadway where Fiennes received the Tony Award for Best Actor. Fiennes returned to Broadway in 2006 and received a Tony Nomination for his role in Brian Friel’s The Faith Healer following a run at The Gate Theatre Dublin. In 2016 Fiennes played Solness in The Master Builder directed by Matthew Warchus at the Old Vic Theatre for which he received the Evening Standard Best Actor Award.
Ralph Fiennes made his feature film debut as Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights in 1992. His film credits include Schindler’s List, The English Patient, The Constant Gardener, The End of the Affair, The Reader, Quiz Show, Oscar and Lucinda, Onegin, Spider, Sunshine, Strange Days and The Hurt Locker. He played Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter series and the role of ‘M’ in Skyfall, Spectre and No Time To Die.
Fiennes most recent film credits include, The Menu, The Forgiven, The Four Quartets, The King’s Man, The Dig, Official Secrets, The Grand Budapest Hotel, A Bigger Splash, Kubo and the Two Strings, Hail Caesar!. Forthcoming films include: Conclave, and The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar.
Fiennes made his feature film directorial debut in 2011 with Coriolanus in which he also starred in the title role. He also directed and starred in The Invisible Woman and The White Crow about Rudolf Nureyev.
His television work includes David Hare’s trilogy Page Eight, Turks and Caicos and Salting The Battlefield. He played T.E Lawrence in A Dangerous Man: Lawrence After Arabia and also appeared in Prime Suspect and Rev.
Fiennes has been the recipient of many significant awards and nominations for his work on film and in the theatre. He was nominated for Academy Awards, Golden Globes and BAFTAs for his roles in both The English Patient and Schindler’s List, winning the BAFTA for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for the latter. He was also nominated for BAFTAs for The End of an Affair and The Constant Gardener. He was nominated for the BAFTA for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer for Coriolanus. Most recently he was nominated for a Golden Globe and a BAFTA for his leading role in The Grand Budapest Hotel. Fiennes has also been honoured with the Variety Award for Film Achievement, The Richard Harris Award by the British Independent Film Awards and The Empire Film Legend Award.
INDIRA VARMA – AWAITING BIOG
Indira Varma is an Olivier Award-winning actress having won ‘Best Actress in a Supporting Role’ for her performance as ‘Liz Essendine’ in PRESENT LAUGHTER (Old Vic) alongside Andrew Scott. Notable theatre highlights include MAN AND SUPERMAN (The National) with Ralph Fiennes, Jamie Lloyd’s production of Chekhov’s THE SEAGULL (Harold Pinter Theatre), Eugène Ionesco’s EXIT THE KING (The National) opposite Rhys Ifans; Shakespeare’s TITUS ANDRONICUS (Globe Theatre); THE VORTEX, DANCE OF DEATH, PRIVATES ON PARADE (all at the Donmar Warehouse), THE VERTICAL HOUR, THE COUNTRY, INGREDIENT X (all at the Royal Court), and CELEBRATION (on Broadway).
For screen, credits include ‘Gita Mishra’ in AppleTV’s EXTRAPOLATIONS, ‘Ingrid’ in OBSESSION (Netflix), ‘Tala’ in OBI-WAN KENOBI (Disney+), ‘Khadija Khan’ in the 2nd series of THE CAPTURE (BBC/AMC), ‘Ellaria Sand’ in the multi award-winning GAME OF THRONES (HBO/SkyAtlantic), LUTHER alongside Idris Elba (BBC/Netflix), the Emmy nominated drama PATRICK MELROSE (HBO/Sky Atlantic) starring Benedict Cumberbatch and the critically acclaimed comedy series THIS WAY UP (Channel 4/Hulu) written by and starring Aisling Bea.
Simon Godwin joined Shakespeare Theatre Company as Artistic Director in September 2019. Simon has directed three shows for STC (King Lear featuring Patrick Page, Much Ado About Nothing featuring Kate Jennings Grant and Rick Holmes, and Timon of Athens featuring Kathryn Hunter and co-produced by New York’s Theatre for a New Audience). He will direct his fourth production for STC in the 23/24 Season, Macbeth.
He has served as Associate Director of the National Theatre of London, the Royal Court Theatre, the Bristol Old Vic, and the Royal and Derngate Theatres (Northampton). While at the Royal Court, Simon directed seven world premieres, including Routes, If You Don’t Let Us Dream, We Won’t Let You Sleep, NSFW, The Witness, Goodbye to All That, The Acid Test, and Wanderlust. He made his debut at the National Theatre with Strange Interlude followed by Man and Superman, and went on to direct The Beaux’ Stratagem, Twelfth Night, a celebrated production of Antony and Cleopatra with Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo, and the world premiere of Simon Wood’s Hansard.
Most recently, he returned to the National Theatre to direct Much Ado About Nothing featuring Katherine Parkinson and John Heffernan. He also directed Romeo & Juliet for the National Theatre, an original film for television (Sky Arts in U.K./PBS in U.S.) starring Josh O’Connor and Jessie Buckley. Simon has also directed at the Royal Shakespeare Company, including his production of Timon of Athens with Kathryn Hunter in the titular role, an acclaimed Hamlet, which toured to the Kennedy Center, and The Two Gentlemen of Verona. In 2019, Simon made his Tokyo debut, directing a Japanese cast in Hamlet for Theatre Cocoon. Other productions include The Little Mermaid, Krapp’s Last Tape/A Kind of Alaska, Faith Healer, Far Away, Everyman, Habeas Corpus, and Relatively Speaking. In 2012 Simon was awarded the inaugural Evening Standard/Burberry Award for an Emerging Director.
Wessex Grove is a theatrical production company set up by Benjamin Lowy and Emily Vaughan-Barratt in 2020.
Current and upcoming productions include: Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life directed by Ivo van Hove at the Harold Pinter & Savoy Theatres; One Woman Show at the Greenwich House Theatre, New York; A Doll’s House at the Hudson Theatre, New York; A Streetcar Named Desire at the Phoenix Theatre; Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club, Playhouse Theatre; A Strange Loop at the Barbican Theatre; and Quiz UK Tour.
Recent productions include: Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons at the Harold Pinter Theatre and UK Tour; One Woman Show at the Ambassadors Theatre; Best of Enemies at the Noël Coward Theatre; Constellations at the Vaudeville Theatre, winner of the Olivier Award for Best Revival; Mother Goose at the Duke of York’s Theatre and UK Tour; The Doctor at the Duke of York’s Theatre; Mad House at the Ambassadors Theatre; The Seagull at the Harold Pinter Theatre; Cyrano de Bergerac at the Harold Pinter Theatre, Glasgow Theatre Royal and Brooklyn Academy of Music; and The New Tomorrow Festival at the Young Vic.
Underbelly is a UK based live entertainment company that specialises in producing and programming ground-breaking theatrical productions and the creation of city centre cultural events and festivals. Founded in 2000 at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe by Ed Bartlam and Charlie Wood, the company has since gone on to produce shows and events in locations from theatres to roundabouts from London to Asia. In 2019, pre-COVID, we welcomed more than 9 million people to our productions, events and festivals.
Current Underbelly productions include the seven times Olivier award winning production of Cabaret in London’s West End, for which they are the lead co-producer (with ATG Productions) and the trailblazing cabaret show La Clique.
Underbelly is one of the leading venue producers at Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Highlights of our 21 years at the festival include presenting Fleabag in 2013, Six in 2018, Joan Rivers in 2008, two seasons of CIRCA’s award winning Humans and shows from Mischief Comedy in 2012 and 2013.
Current festivals and events in the Underbelly portfolio include Underbelly at Depot Mayfielf Manchester, Underbelly Festival, Christmas in Leicester Square & Trafalgar Square, the Leicester Square Spiegeltent and Underbelly at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Underbelly are also the third-party producer for major events including Pride in London and West End Live.
SHAKESPEARE THEATRE COMPANY
For more than 35 years, the Tony Award-winning STC has dedicated itself to being the nation’s premier classical theater. Classical plays are realized best not by originalism but by walking the path Shakespeare himself followed, creating works that spoke to his own contemporary audience. STC tells vital stories in audacious forms, that are Shakespearean in the deepest sense, even if (and especially when) they are not written by Shakespeare. By focusing on works with profound themes and complex characters, STC’s artistic mission is unique among regional theaters: to bring to vibrant life groundbreaking, thought-provoking, and eminently accessible theater.