Dominic Cooper is set to star in a brand new staging of The Libertine, which will open in Bath as part of the Theatre Royal’s 2016 Summer Season. Directed by Olivier and Tony Award-winning Terry Johnson, Stephen Jeffreys’ thrilling play will appear at the Theatre Royal Bath from Wednesday 31st August to Saturday 17th September – immediately prior to a West End transfer to the Theatre Royal Haymarket.
Marking his return to the stage, Dominic Cooper will play the notorious 17th Century rake, the Earl of Rochester, in this major revival of Stephen Jeffreys’ sexually charged drama set in the Restoration era.
The Libertine tells the true story of John Wilmot, the second Earl of Rochester – a charismatic poet and playwright with a legendary appetite for excess. Yet this most ardent of hedonists is forced to reconsider everything he thinks and feels when a chance encounter with an actress at the Playhouse sends him reeling. Full of flair and wit, this wild romp through 1670s London offers an incisive critique of life in an age of excess.
Dominic Cooper’s notable stage credits, particularly at the National Theatre, include The History Boys, Mother Clap’s Molly House and, more recently, Phedre alongside Helen Mirren. He performed at the Theatre Royal Bath in Mark Ravenhill’s Mother Clap’s Molly House in October 2001, after making his stage debut in the production at the National Theatre a month earlier. His numerous film credits include The History Boys, The Duchess, My Week with Marilyn, Mamma Mia, Captain America: The First Avenger, and he is soon to star in Preacher.
Written in 1994, The Libertine was first performed on tour and at the Royal Court Theatre alongside the Restoration comedy, The Man of Mode. It later transferred to Chicago’s Steppenwolf starring John Malkovich and directed by Terry Johnson, before Johnny Depp took the title role in the 2004 film adaptation.
Stephen Jeffreys is the author of A Going Concern, The Clink and Valued Friends, which won him the Evening Standard Most Promising Playwright Award.
Terry Johnson is a multi-award winning dramatist and director whose work has been performed worldwide. Recently at the Theatre Royal Bath, Terry Johnson directed Antony Sher in Hysteria in July 2013, a play he also wrote. Last year, he adapted and directed a new stage production of Mrs Henderson Presents – the musical received its world premiere at the Theatre Royal Bath in August 2015, and makes its West End debut this February. He is the recipient of a dozen major theatre awards, including the Tony Award for Best Director of a Musical 2010 and the Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival for La Cage Aux Folles. He won the Olivier Awards for Best Comedy of 1994 and of 1999, Playwright of the Year 1995, Critics’ Circle Best New Play 1995, two Evening Standard Theatre Awards, and Writers’ Guild Best Play in 1995 and 1996.
In recent years, Terry Johnson’s West End productions have included, End of the Rainbow, Whipping It Up, Hysteria, Dead Funny, The Graduate and Entertaining Mr Sloane – all of which played Bath. For the National Theatre, he wrote and directed Cleo, Camping, Emmanuelle and Dick and The London Cuckolds, both of which played Bath in 1998 and 1999 respectively. He has written and directed television dramas broadcast across the globe.
The Libertine is produced by TRH Productions, Lee Dean and Theatre Royal Bath Productions with Ilene Starger as Executive Producer.
Tickets for The Libertine are now on sale at the Theatre Royal Bath Box Office on 01225 448844 or via www.theatreroyal.org.uk