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The Mother of All Disorders as Two Oedipus Productions Announced in London | Theater

The Old Vic has found itself in the mother of all chaos after announcing a star-studded adaptation of Oedipus just 30 minutes after another major production was confirmed.

At 7.02pm on Thursday, the Old Vic announced that Rami Malek and Indira Varma will star in a 2025 adaptation of Sophocles' tragedy.

However, exactly 30 minutes earlier, at 6.32pm, it was confirmed that acclaimed director Robert Icke will bring his adaptation of Oedipus to the Wyndham's Theater this year after it was postponed during the Covid pandemic.

Neither show is on sale yet, raising questions about why the productions were announced less than an hour later.

The Old Vic played down offers of a copycat, saying in a statement to Time Out that the production had been in the works since 2019.

Ella Hickson's Old Vic adaptation of Sophocles' play will run from January 21 to March 29 next year.

Oscar winner Malek will make his UK stage debut as Oedipus, while award winner Olivier Varma will take on the role of Jocasta.

Malek is best known for his roles in Bohemian Rhapsody and No Time to Die, while Varma has had big success at the Old Vic, winning an Olivier Award in 2020 for her portrayal of Liz Essendine in The Laugh Now.

At the Wyndham's Theatre, Mark Strong and Leslie Manville will play Oedipus and Jocasta for a limited season from 4 October. It happens after Ike's production was a success at the Amsterdam International Theater and the Edinburgh Festival.

Strong was last seen on stage in 2016 at the National Theatre, where he played the title role Red barn – another production by Ayko. Manville was recently seen in seasons 5 and 6 of The Crown as Princess Margaret.

The production of Ike has also been going on for a long time West End. After debuting in Amsterdam in 2019, his special interpretation of Oedipus is set for an English-language debut next year with Helen Mirren in the title role of Jocasta.

However, this was delayed in 2020 due to the Covid pandemic and has since been postponed indefinitely. With Mirren currently unavailable due to a scheduling conflict, Manville secured the role in a recast.


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