Edinburgh International Festival reveals Broadway star to appear in first confirmed 2019 show

James McArdle will be returning to the Edinburgh International Festival stage five years after starring in The James Plays.
James McArdle will be returning to the Edinburgh International Festival stage five years after starring in The James Plays.
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A Glasgow-born Broadway star is to return to the stage in Scotland for a starring role in next year's Edinburgh International Festival.

James McArdle, who starred in the National Theatre's recent version of Angels in America in New York and is about to appear in the new Mary Queen of Scots blockbuster, will play the lead role in a brand new production of Peer Gynt.

Oscar-nominated writer David Hare will be adapting Henrik Ibsen's 19th century play for a new co-production between the EIF and the National Theatre.

The new version, re-named Peter Gynt, will see the story set in the 21st century, with the heroic main character - played in in all chapters of his life by McArdle - "propelled into a free-wheeling world of music, dance, poetry, weddings, coronations, trolls and two-headed children."

The first major production announced for the 2019 EIF, it is being billed as the "centrepiece" of its theatre programme next year. Tickets for its run at the Festival Theatre will go on sale in the spring, after the full EIF programme is announced.

McArdle, 29, will be back at the EIF for the first time since starring as James I in the epic historical trilogy The James Plays in 2014.

EIF director Fergus Linehan said: "We’re thrilled to announce Peter Gynt for the 2019 International Festival, the centrepiece production of our theatre programme next year.

"This is the first time we’ve worked with the National Theatre since presenting The James Plays in partnership with them in 2014, which of course also starred James McArdle.

"It’s fantastic to be working together again on a major new production of this scale."