Belfast Telegraph

Olivier-nominated Kenneth Branagh to star with John Hurt

By Catherine Wylie

Sir John Hurt is returning to the London stage for the first time in a decade and will star alongside Sir Kenneth Branagh.

The pair will appear in The Entertainer - with Hurt playing patriarch Billy Rice opposite Branagh's Archie Rice in the final production in the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company's Plays At The Garrick season.

In more good news for the Belfast-born star, Sir Kenneth has been nominated for the best actor Olivier Award for The Winter's Tale. He will be up against Hamlet star Benedict Cumberbatch and Academy Award winner Mark Rylance for his role in Farinelli And The King.

Sir John (76) underwent treatment for pancreatic cancer, but received "extremely encouraging news" from his specialist late last year, his spokesman said. The Entertainer is set against the backdrop of post-war Britain and John Osborne's modern classic conjures the seedy glamour of the old music halls for an explosive examination of public masks and private torment.

Sir John said: "This has been a wonderfully successful season for Ken Branagh and his company, and I feel proud and privileged to be joining them."

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