Farinelli and the King

When a monarch falls into madness, the only cure is music.  The play tells the true story of Philippe V (Rylance), a Spanish monarch on the brink of madness. He finds unexpected solace in the voice of world-renowned castrato Farinelli, sung by countertenor Iestyn Davies.

Oscar and three-time Tony winner Mark Rylance, following his acclaimed performance in the hit film Dunkirk, returns to the stage in Farinelli and the King. This captivating new play arrives on Broadway after sold-out runs at Shakespeare’s Globe and on London’s West End.

Written by Claire van Kampen and directed by John Dove, it tells the true story of Philippe V (Rylance), a Spanish monarch on the brink of madness. He finds unexpected solace in the voice of world-renowned castrato Farinelli, a role brought to life by two esteemed performers – West End actor Sam Crane and countertenor Iestyn Davies.

Reviews

“Uncork the Champagne and unfurl the straitjacket. Mark Rylance is once again ruling audiences at the Belasco Theater”  – NY Times, See full review

“A celebration of the restorative power of music.” –The Telegraph

“The Oscar winner delivers a tour de force performance” – Variety See full review

“A beguiling gem of a play… – Financial Times

“A profoundly funny and haunting mediation on melancholy and the therapeutic powers of music” – The Independent

Analysis:

Dramaturgy: Great Team

  • Amazing Team led by award-winning actor Rylance, Director Dove (Hampstead, West End, Old Vic, Globe)
  • Bravura roles for actors, challenges for director, designers and musicians

Story Elements: Universal Appeal

  • Unusual, little-known story from 18th Century Spain. Copyright 2018
  • Attractive to leading actors – Mark Rylance
  • A hit in London at Shakespeare’s Globe Theater and in its transfer to the West End

Cost: Modest Production for Broadway

  • Twelve actors, seven musicians
  • Gorgeous  production: Atmospheric lighting with candles, period costumes and sets
  • Limited run, 16 weeks only

Marketing: Significant Subsidiary Market

  • First production in the Americas
  • Subsidiary opportunities on tour and in regional theaters across North America
  • Potential film/TV rights

Like Broadway’s Twelfth Night and Richard III, this contemporary work is presented in the signature style of Shakespeare’s Globe – traditional baroque instruments are played live in a gallery above the stage; the audience enjoys intimate seating with several rows onstage; and the story is told by candlelight, creating an enchanting theatergoing experience.