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Shakespeare's Globe

Farinelli and the King

A new play by Claire van Kampen


Duke of York's Theatre, London


14 September - 5 December


Directed by
John Dove

Designed by
Jonathan Fensom

Musical Arrangement by
Claire van Kampen 


Sam Crane 

Matthew Darcy

Huss Garbiya 
Doctor Jose Cervi

Melody Grove
Isabella Farnese 

Colin Hurley 

Edward Peel
De la Cuadra

Mark Rylance
Philippe V

Iestyn Davies, Rupert Enticknap, Owen Willetts

  • Theatre/2015/West End/Farinelli/CG

Please note: this production has now closed.

Sonia Friedman Productions present the Shakespeare's Globe production of Farinelli and the King.

The critically-acclaimed Shakespeare’s Globe sold-out production of Farinelli and the King starring Mark Rylance transfers to the West End for a strictly limited run.

About the Play

Mark Rylance (Wolf HallJerusalem), ‘one of the greatest stage actors in the world’ (Daily Telegraph), stars in Claire van Kampen’s moving and mesmerising new play, directed by John Dove and designed by Jonathan Fensom.  Mark Rylance will reprise his role as King Philippe V of Spain, Sam Crane will once again play the acting role of Farinelli, while opera star, Iestyn Davies returns in the singing role, which will be shared with Rupert Enticknap and Owen Willetts.*

The rest of the cast will also transfer with Huss Garbiya playing Doctor Jose Cervi, Melody Grove playing Isabella Farnese, Colin Hurley as Metastasio and Edward Peel as De la Cuadra.

Depressed and plagued by insomnia, King Philippe V of Spain lies awake in his chamber. The Queen, desperate to find a cure, hears of Farinelli - a castrato with a voice so divine it has the power to captivate all who hear it.  Even Philippe is astonished when Farinelli sings, and begs him to stay. But will Farinelli, one of the greatest celebrities of his time, choose a life of solitude over fame and fortune in the opera-houses of Europe? And will his extraordinary talent prove to be a curse rather than a blessing?

Shakespeare's Globe and Sonia Friedman Productions join forces once again (Richard III and Twelfth Night, 2012) to bring this inspiring true story - featuring many of the arias first sung by Farinelli in the 1730s and music played live by musicians on Baroque instruments - into a transformed Duke of York’s Theatre, lit almost exclusively by the glow of candlelight.

* For full performance schedule - download


‘Mark Rylance leads a pitch-perfect production’
The Independent

‘An evening that no theatre or music lover can afford to miss’
Sunday Express

‘John Dove’s spellbinding, superbly staged production’
Mail on Sunday

‘A pleasure that verges on the sublime.’
The Guardian

‘Long live Rylance! A magical evening.’
The Times

‘A beguiling gem of a play’
Financial Times