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John Boyega to take on Woyzeck in new Old Vic season

John Bodega will star in Woyzeck at the Old Vic
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Star Wars actor John Boyega is to play the lead role in a reimagining of Woyzeck at the Old Vic as part of its forthcoming season.

Matthew Warchus’ second season in charge of the London venue also includes a 20th anniversary production of Yasmina Reza’s Art, a new version of HMS Pinafore and a previously unperformed work by Samuel Beckett.

Boyega will take the title role in a new version of Georg Buchner’s play, which has been adapted by Jack Thorne, and will be directed by Joe Murphy. Murphy has also been appointed the Old Vic’s second Baylis director, and he will work on productions at the theatre as part of a 12-month programme.

Woyzeck will run from February 25 to April 15, 2017, with press night on March 7.

Reza’s first ran in London in 1996 translated by Christopher Hampton and directed by Warchus. The revival will reunite the original creative team and runs from December 10 to February 18.

The season will open with the previously unperformed No’s Knife by Beckett, featuring Lisa Dwan. It runs from September 29 to October 15.

The previously announced King Lear, starring Glenda Jackson, will run in October, with Jane Horrocks joining the cast.

The cast also includes Rhys Ifans, Harry Melling and Simon Manyonda.

A new version of Gilbert and Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore by Nigel Hess and Christopher Luscombe also features in the season, directed by Luscombe.

Elsewhere, Stephen Beresford is adapting Ingrid Bergman’s classic film Fanny and Alexander for the stage, which will be directed at the Old Vic by Max Webster.

Webster was the inaugural Baylis director and now becomes associate director at the venue.

Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead will be revived for a 50th anniversary production, while The Lorax, which ran at the Old Vic in 2015, returns.

A newly commissioned puppetry show for children – Missing Light – will play on the main stage in 2017 as part of the theatre’s programme of work for young people. It is created by Mark Arends for Make Mend and Do Theatre.

Announcing the season, Warchus said: “Anyone who has visited the Old Vic in the last eight months will have felt the new wave of energy which has swept through the building. There’s a completely fresh feel to the foyer, bars and cafe, and a completely fresh approach to how we programme our productions and events.

“There’s much more happening, and for a much wider range of people. For a theatre without public funding this is no mean feat. It’s an exciting shift, aimed at consolidating the Old Vic as a vibrant and indispensable part of London’s artistic scene.”

Elsewhere, composer Gary Yershon has also joined the theatre as an associate artist. He joins current associates including Dennis Kelly, Drew McOnie and Tim Minchin.

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