Robert Bathurst, who fans of the hit television series “Downton Abbey” will recognize as the actor who portrayed Sir Anthony Strallan (Lady Edith Pelham’s last hope for a husband) during the first and third seasons of the series, will play the title role in the Chicago Shakespeare Theater production of “King Charles III.” The hit British play by Mike Bartlett imagines the accession and reign of Charles, Prince of Wales, with “Camilla at his side, and William, Kate and Harry anxiously looking on.”
The play, to have its Chicago premiere on the heels of productions in London’s West End and on Broadway, will be directed by Gary Griffin and run Nov. 5, 2016 – Jan. 15, 2017.
In addition to Bathurst, whose career spans three decades on the stage, and in film and television, the Chicago Shakespeare cast will include Jordan Dean as Charles’ eldest son, Prince William, and Amanda Drinkall as Williams’ wife, Kate Middleton. Alec Manley Wilson will portray a conflicted Prince Harry, who must find his role in the new family dynamics. Rae Gray will play Jess, Harry’s working-class love interest who is met with disapproval from the royal family. Kate Skinner will play Camilla, and Sarah Chalcroft, a recent London transplant to Chicago, will make an appearance as Princess Diana.
Sean Fortunato will appear as England’s Prime Minister, Mr. Evans, with David Lively as Mr. Stevens, the head of the opposition party. Also in the cast will be Jonathan Weir, Lawrence Grimm, Demetrios Troy, Jen Johansen, Sam Pearson, Grant Niezgodski, Jeff Parker, Tyrone Phillips and Megan Storti.
Costume designer Mara Blumenfeld will draw on the real-life fashions of the British royal family, from highly ornamental state uniforms to the daily wear of Kate, Harry and William. Set designer Scott Davis, along with associate designer Alan Schwanke, will create a world that evokes Buckingham Palace, the British Parliament, and 10 Downing Street.
Tickets ($48–$88, subject to change) are now on sale. Call (312) 595-5600 or visit http://www.chicagoshakes.com.