Dominic Cooper stars in a brand new staging of The Libertine, which opens in Bath from Wednesday 31st August to Saturday 17th September as part of the Theatre Royal’s 2016 Summer Season. Directed by Olivier and Tony Award-winning Terry Johnson, Stephen Jeffreys’ thrilling drama appears at the Theatre Royal Bath immediately prior to its West End transfer to the Theatre Royal Haymarket.
Desired, debauched and disgraced, the most notorious rogue in Restoration England is played by Dominic Cooper, as he makes his return to the stage in a major revival of Stephen Jeffreys’ sexually charged drama set in the 1670s.
Based on true events, The Libertine tells the story of John Wilmot, the second Earl of Rochester – a charismatic poet and playwright with a legendary appetite for excess. A close friend of King Charles II, Rochester’s life of debauchery knows no bounds. That is, until headstrong actress Elizabeth Barry makes an appearance at the Playhouse and a chance encounter sends the Earl reeling, forcing him to reconsider everything. Could she finally be the one to tame him?
Multi-award winner Terry Johnson directs an acclaimed cast in this lively and witty romp through an age of excess in seventeenth century London.
Dominic Cooper’s stage credits at the National Theatre include the Olivier and Tony Award-winning production of The History Boys, as well as His Dark Materials, Mother Clap’s Molly House and Phèdre alongside Helen Mirren. At the RSC, he played Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He performed at Bath’s Theatre Royal in Mark Ravenhill’s Mother Clap’s Molly House in 2001, after making his stage debut in the production at the National Theatre a month earlier. His numerous film credits include The History Boys, Mamma Mia!, The Duchess, My Week with Marilyn, An Education, Captain America: The First Avenger, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and The Escapist. On television, he played Willoughby in Sense and Sensibility, Howard Stark in Agent Carter and the title role in Fleming. He can currently be seen in Duncan Jones’s new film Warcraft: the Beginning, and in the title role of the acclaimed new series, Preacher.
The role of Charles II is played by RSC Associate Artist Jasper Britton. His recent stage credits include The Jew of Malta and the King and Country cycle for the RSC at Stratford, London’s Barbican and New York. He last appeared on the Bath stage in the RSC’s Henry IV Parts 1 & 2 in 2014, his fifth production at the Theatre Royal. His numerous stage credits also include David Mamet’s Race at Hampstead Theatre and The Last Cigarette opposite Felicity Kendal.
Mark Hadfield, who plays George Etherege, has performed at Bath’s Theatre Royal in nine previous productions, most recently in Mrs Henderson Presents in 2015. His television and film credits include Cradle to Grave, Wallander, Doc Martin, Foyle’s War and A Cock and Bull Story. He is an Associate Artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company and his many West End credits include Made in Dagenham, Jeeves & Wooster in Perfect Nonsense and Singin’ in the Rain.
Ophelia Lovibond plays Elizabeth Barry. Her film credits include Thor, Nowhere Boy, Roman Polanski’s Oliver Twist, Man Up and Tommy’s Honour. Her television roles have included Izzy in BBC’s self-satire W1A; Robin in Sky Atlantic’s Mr. Sloane alongside Nick Frost; and Kitty Winter Sherlock Holmes’ protégée in the American drama series, Elementary, with Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu. She made her television debut as a child in ITV’s The Wilsons.
Richard Teverson, who plays Charles Sackville, was last seen at Bath’s Theatre Royal as Victor in Private Lives this March, his second visit in four months having toured to Bath in Handbagged last December. His stage work also includes The Winslow Boy and Cause Célèbre at London’s Old Vic; The Doctor’s Dilemma and After the Dance at the National Theatre; and the West End productions of The 39 Steps, When Harry Met Sally, A Woman of No Importance, and The Lion King. Richard’s screen credits include Downton Abbey, Coalition, Jamaica Inn, The Bletchley Circle, Dancing on the Edge, Brideshead Revisited, Upstairs Downstairs and Private Peaceful.
Lizzie Roper plays the roles of Molly Luscombe and Mrs Will Ufton. Her theatre credits include the West End production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, directed by Terry Johnson, and August: Osage County at the National Theatre. Her many television credits include Family Affairs, Waterloo Road, Hollyoaks, Doctors and Boy Meets Girl.
Nina Toussaint-White appears as Jane. Her stage work includes The Etienne Sisters at Theatre Royal Stratford East and Race at Hampstead Theatre. On television, Nina has played Angie in Emmerdale, Syd in EastEnders and Shelley in Uncle, as well as roles in Doctor Who, Scott & Bailey, Death in Paradise and Whitechapel.
Will Merrick plays Billy Downs. His theatre credits include the RSC’s Wendy and Peter Pan, and The Ghost Train at Manchester’s Royal Exchange. On television, he can currently be seen as Russell in Brief Encounters and previously played Alo Creevey in Skins. Cornelius Booth, who appears as Harry Harris, was last seen at the Theatre Royal Bath in Peter Pan Goes Wrong in 2015, and previously in Henry IV Parts 1 and 2 in 2011 and A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 1996, an RSC production which toured the world. Will Barton, who plays Tom Alcock, performed at the Theatre Royal Bath earlier this year in Toast, and previously in Festen in 2006 and Angry Old Men in 1994. Alice Bailey Johnson plays Elizabeth Malet and the cast is completed by Lydia Piechowiak, Emily Byrt, Joseph Macnab, Jonathan Hansler and James Marchant.
Written in 1994, Stephen Jeffreys’ 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 Theatre starring John Malkovich and directed by Terry Johnson, before Johnny Depp took the title role in Jeffreys’ 2004 film adaptation.
Stephen Jeffreys is an internationally acclaimed playwright whose work also includes A Going Concern, The Clink and Valued Friends, which won him the Evening Standard Most Promising Playwright Award. His revised version of The Alchemist opened at the RSC this summer and transfers to London’s Barbican in September.
Designer Tim Shortall has worked internationally, in the West End and for major theatres across the UK. His extensive credits include designing the set for Terry Johnson’s production of Mrs Henderson Presents last year, and previously for Terry Johnson’s staging of La Cage aux Folles, receiving a Tony Award nomination for his set design.
Terry Johnson is a multi-award winning dramatist and director whose work has been performed worldwide. Recently at the Theatre Royal Bath, Terry Johnson adapted and directed a new stage production of Mrs Henderson Presents, which received its world premiere in Bath in August 2015, and transferred to the West End this February. He also directed his play Hysteria starring Antony Sher at the Theatre Royal Bath in 2013. He is the recipient of a dozen major theatre awards, including the Tony Award for Best Director of a Musical 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. Terry Johnson’s many West End productions include End of the Rainbow, Whipping It Up, 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 also written and directed television dramas broadcast across the globe.
The Libertine appears at the Theatre Royal Bath from Wednesday 31st August to Saturday 17th September. Tickets are on sale at the Theatre Royal Bath Box Office on 01225 448844 or via www.theatreroyal.org.uk