Kenneth Branagh Theater Company Launches in London With Richard Madden, Lily James, Judi Dench

Sir Kenneth Branagh, who just directed the hit live-action film version of Cinderella, is launching his own theater company in London with some of his film’s stars and others in the UK theatrical firmament, including Dame Judi Dench, his publicist confirmed.

The Kenneth Branagh Theater Company will put on a season of shows at the Garrick Theater in London’s West End beginning this fall, under the rubric Plays At The Garrick. The troupe will include Rob Brydon and Cinderella stars Lily James and Richard Madden. The latter pair will play the leads in a previously announced staging of Romeo and Juliet.

Other projects include Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, with Dench and Branagh; Terrence Rattigan’s Harlequinade; Francis Veber’s The Painkiller and John Osborne’s The Entertainer. Sean Foley and Rob Ashford, who will direct the latter two projects respectively, are also members of the company, which will be the resident troupe at the Garrick. Christopher Oram is also a company member.

Branagh recently assembled a company for his epic staging of Macbeth, in which he appeared in the title role. After a UK run, it was presented last fall in a sold-out run at Manhattan’s Park Avenue Armory.  News of the new initiative appeared stateside this weekend in the New York Times following reports in the UK.

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