Cast announced for Player Kings with Ian McKellen in Manchester and London

Player Kings poster

The complete cast has been announced for the upcoming stage adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2, titled Player Kings.

This new version is adapted and directed by the critically acclaimed Robert Icke with a star-studded cast, headlined by the renowned Ian McKellen,

He takes on the role of Sir John Falstaff, a character of legendary repute in Shakespearean lore. Joining him in leading roles are Toheeb Jimoh (Ted Lasso & Romeo and Juliet) as Hal and Richard Coyle (Ink & Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore) as King Henry IV.

Raphael Akuwudike (Prince John/Second Drawer), Sara Beharrell (Hotspur’s Servant/Snare/Davy), Samuel Edward-Cook (Hotspur/Pistol), Geoffrey Freshwater (Bardolph), James Garnon (Worcester/Silence), Alice Hayes (Messenger/Carrier), Henry Jenkinson (Harcourt), Nigel Lister (Northumberland/Francis) Annette McLaughlin (Warwick), Mark Monero (Peto), Hywel Morgan (Sir Walter Blunt), Joseph Mydell (Lord Chief Justice), Clare Perkins (Mistress Quickly), Daniel Rabin (Poins), David Semark (Vernon), David Shelley (Sheriff/Surrey), Robin Soans (Shallow), Tafline Steen (Tearsheet/Lady Percy) and Perry Williams (Page/Douglas/Thomas) complete the cast.

Set and costume design is led by Hildegard Bechtler, with Lee Curran handling lighting design. The sound design is managed by Gareth Fry, and the casting is overseen by Julia Horan CDG. The play also features fight direction by Kev McCurdy, associate costume design by Johanna Coe, and hair and make-up design by Susanna Peretz. Jack Bradfield and Lizzie Manwaring serve as associate directors.

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Currently touring until 22 June 2024

Player Kings tour dates ➤

The storyline of Player Kings revolves around a tumultuous period in English history, marked by a divided country, faltering leadership, and rampant corruption. It focuses on Hal, a young man not born to be king but seemingly destined for the throne. His journey from the taverns of Eastcheap, where he keeps the company of the notorious John Falstaff, to the halls of power, forms the crux of this gripping narrative.

Player Kings will have a limited twelve-week run in London’s West End, playing at the Noël Coward Theatre from April 2024. The production will also have preview shows at the New Wimbledon Theatre from 1 March to 9 March 2024, and at the Manchester Opera House from 14 March to 23 March 2024.

About the author: Josh Darvill

Josh is Stageberry's editor with over five years of experience writing about theatre in the West End and across the UK. Prior to following his passion for musicals, he worked for more than a decade as a TV journalist.