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James Earl Jones and Vanessa Redgrave to Star in Old Vic's Much Ado About Nothing

Oscar and Tony winners to re-team in September for Mark Rylance's production of Shakespeare's classic rom-com. logo

Vanessa Redgrave
© Tristan Fuge
You're never too old to trade Shakespearean quips or fall in love – at least not on the London stage.

Academy Award and Tony Award winners Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones, both longtime members of the AARP set, will star as Beatrice and Benedick in the Old Vic's upcoming production of Much Ado About Nothing, to run September 7-November 16, in a production directed by Tony Award winner Mark Rylance.

One of Shakespeare's best-loved comedies, Much Ado focuses on Beatrice, a long-unmarried Sicilian woman, who refuses to admit her love for her longtime verbal adversary Benedick, a confirmed bachelor. The couple's friends eventually trick them into confessing their feelings, but their union is almost destroyed by the dastardly doings of the evil Don John, the play's scheming villain.

Redgrave (Long Day's Journey Into Night) and Jones (Fences) teamed in 2010 for the Broadway revival of Alfred Uhry's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Driving Miss Daisy, which later moved to London's West End.

Redgrave is next scheduled to star opposite Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network) in the off-Broadway production of Eisenberg's The Revisionist. Jones was seen earlier this year in the Broadway revival of Gore Vidal's The Best Man, for which he earned his fourth Tony Award nomination for Best Actor in a Play.

One of the world's most honored actors and directors, Rylance was the first Artistic Director of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre from 1995-2005, where he worked on many of the Bard's greatest plays. He is also a two-time Tony Award winner for his acting work in Boeing-Boeing and Jerusalem.

In addition to Much Ado, the Old Vic's upcoming season will also include new productions of Terrence Rattigan's drama The Winslow Boy (March 8-May 25), to be directed by Lindsay Posner (March 8-May 25), and Tennessee Williams' Sweet Bird of Youth (June 1-August 31) starring stage and screen star Kim Cattrall (Private Lives, Sex and the City).

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