Sir Simon Russell Beale will play JS Bach in the world premiere of a new play about the composer.
The actor will star in Bach & Sons, written by Nina Raine and directed by Nicholas Hytner, at London’s Bridge Theatre.
The play will depict Bach as irascible and turbulent as he writes music for his aristocratic patrons, and gives voice to his deep religious faith in music for the church.
He is touchy and rude, has high standards and is constantly in trouble with his employers.
The play depicts his relationship with his family, including his oldest son, Wilhelm, who is “brilliant, chaotic and paralysed by his father’s genius”, and industrious Carl, who is less talented than his father but more successful.
Over the years their family drama provokes furious arguments about love, God and music.
The show will run from June 23 until September 29, with opening night on June 29.
The Bridge Theatre will also host the European premiere of US playwright Suzan-Lori Parks’ White Noise, directed by Polly Findlay.
The play, which looks at race in the 21st century, follows 30-somethings Leo, Misha, Ralph and Dawn, who have been inseparable since college until Leo is assaulted by the police in a racially motivated incident.
Shaken to the core, he brings to the group an extreme proposition.
White Noise will run from October 5 to November 13 with opening night on October 12.