Colm Feore will be the Stratford Festival’s next King Lear.
At just 55, the Canadian star of television’s The Borgias will follow in the footsteps of Christopher Plummer, William Hutt and Brian Bedford as Lear at Stratford, in artistic director Antoni Cimolino’s production of the Shakespeare tragedy planned for 2014.
Feore, last seen onstage at Stratford as Macbeth in 2009, will also take the comic lead of Archer in Cimolino’s production of the Restoration comedy The Beaux’ Stratagem.
Major casting for the 2014 Stratford season was announced Tuesday morning. Other returning stars include Chilina Kennedy, back for the first time since she travelled to Broadway with former artistic director Des McAnuff’s production of Jesus Christ Superstar. She will play Polly Baker in Crazy for You and Aldonza in Man of la Mancha.
Cynthia Dale, meanwhile, will be seen onstage as the Red Queen in Alice Through the Looking Glass and appear in Noël Coward’s Hay Fever alongside Lucy Peacock, who played the title role in Stratford’s recent hit Mary Stuart.
Peacock will also appear as Mrs. Sullen in The Beaux’ Stratagem, while her Mary Stuart co-star Seana McKenna will take on the title role in Brecht’s Mother Courage and Her Children.
Festival favourites Stephen Ouimette and Tom Rooney, who starred opposite each other in Waiting for Godot this season, will both return. Rooney is set to have a musical season, playing Cervantes in Man of la Mancha and Bela Zangler in Crazy for You. Ouimette, meanwhile, will stick to Shakespeare, playing the Fool to Feore’s Lear and Bottom in Siminovitch Prize-winner Chris Abraham’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
For full casting information, see stratfordfestival.ca.