‘Bridgerton’ star Jonathan Bailey will play Richard II at the Bridge Theatre next year

It has been an extremely long time since Nicholas Hytner’s Bridge Theatre staged a new show, thanks to the extraordinary success of its last one. Hytner’s immersive production of ‘Guys & Dolls’ has been packing ‘em in since the start of last year and is still due to run until early 2025.

That’s still a while off, but the next show at the prestigious London Bridge theatre has now been announced and it’s big one.

Stage regular and Bridgerton star Jonathan Bailey will take on the title role of Shakespeare’s ‘Richard II’ in a new Hytner directed production that’ll run from February next year. 

Shakespeare’s play concerns the titular monarch: a charismatic but weak ruler whose steadfast belief in his divine right to rule proves his undoing as he’s thrust into conflict with his nobles led by the future Henry IV.

We don’t have many clues about the production at this stage, though the language around Bailey’s Richard suggests he’ll be in something more like charmer Bridgerton mode than, say, David Tennant’s weirdo take from a decade ago.

Both of Hytner’s previous Shakespeare plays at the Bridge – that’s ‘Julius Caesar’ (2018) and ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ (2019) – had immersive productions similar to ‘Guys & Dolls’, with half the audience seated and half standing on the floor and moving around the room throughout the show. We have no idea if that will be the case this time, and there‘s been no designer announced (all those shows were made with the great Bunny Christie). There’s also no further casting at the moment.

All-in-all they’re currently selling this whole thing on Hytner’s skill as a director of Shakespeare and Olivier-winner Bailey’s powers as an actor – which is, frankly, a lot to be going on.

Tickets will go on general sale from June 26 – and don’t waste time, lest time doth waste you.

‘Richard II’ is at the Bridge Theatre Feb 10 2025 to May 10 2025. Get more information here.

Shakespeare plays in London.

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