Following his current turn as Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, Rhys Ifans will return to the Old Vic Theatre in the new year to star in the world premiere of Joe Penhall’s new stage play Mood Music, which runs from 21 April to 16 June 2018, with a press night on 2 May 2018. Sticking to the South Bank, after the Old Vic, in July, Ifans heads to the National Theatre to appear in Exit the King.
‘Music is medication. The elixir of life. It’s for injecting into the blood stream to take away the pain…to promote euphoria…to adrenalise us and give us courage and fortitude.’
In an expensive London recording studio, a young songwriter, her producer, their lawyers and psychotherapists go to battle over who owns a hit song.
‘I’m not saying he’s a sociopath. I’m just saying you find a lot of damaged people are drawn to the music industry. Lack of empathy, raging narcissism, grandiose egocentricity is expected of them.’
A sly, wry exploration of the dark side of the music industry by the writer of Sunny Afternoon and Blue/Orange, the world premiere of Mood Music by Joe Penhall, is directed by Roger Michell. Mood Music plays over The Old Vic’s 200th birthday on 11 May 2018 and is the fourth production in The Old Vic’s bicentenary season.
Further casting for Mood Music is to be announced.
Rhys Ifans plays Bernard, a Producer. His work as an actor encompasses stage, television and film. His theatre credits include A Christmas Carol, King Lear (The Old Vic); Protest Song, Volpone, Under Milk Wood (National Theatre); Don Juan in Soho, Accidental Death of an Anarchist, Bad Finger (Donmar Warehouse); Beautiful Thing (Duke of York’s Theatre); Thyestes (Royal Court); Smoke, Poison Pen (Manchester Royal Exchange). Film credits include Snowdon, Alice Through the Looking Glass, Dominion, Len and Company, Under Milk Wood, Serena, Another Me, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Five-Year Engagement, Anonymous, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, Greenberg, The Boat that Rocked, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, Hannibal Rising, Once Upon a Time in the Midlands, Human Nature, The Shipping News, Hotel, The Replacements, Notting Hill (BAFTA nominated), and he will be appearing in The Parting Glass later in 2017. Television credits include Berlin Station, Not Only But Always (BAFTA Award for Best Actor), Shakespeare Shorts, Trial and Retribution, The Two Franks, Judas and the Gimp, Nightshift, Spatz, Burning Love, Review, Gifted.
Joe Penhall’s plays include Sunny Afternoon (Hampstead Theatre/West End, 2015 Olivier Award for Best New Musical); Birthday, Haunted Child, Pale Horse (Thames Television Best Play Award);Some Voices (John Whiting Award); Dumb Show (Royal Court); Landscape with Weapon, Blue/Orange (National Theatre, Evening Standard Best Play Award, Olivier Award for Best New Play and Critics’ Circle Award for Best New Play); The Bullet (Donmar Warehouse); Love and Understanding (Bush Theatre). His film and television work include crime thriller Mindhunter, which he created, wrote end executive produced for Netflix in 2017; Birthday, adapted from his stage play for Sky Arts, winner of Best Screenplay at Zoom Festival de Ficcio in Barcelona in 2016; Moses Jones, an original three-part crime drama for BBC2, winner of Best Screenplay at the Roma Fiction Festival 2009; an adaptation of The Road from Cormac McCarthy’s award-winning novel; the screenplay Enduring Love based on the novel by Ian McEwan; the feature adaptation of his play Some Voices for Film Four, and the BAFTA-nominated The Long Firm for BBC2.
Roger Michell’s theatre credits include Marya (The Old Vic); Landscape with Weapon, Honour, Blue/Orange, The Homecoming, Under Milk Wood, Coup, Waste, Consent (National Theatre); Rope (Almeida); My Night With Reg, Tribes, Birthday (Royal Court); Betrayal, Old Times (Donmar Warehouse); Farewell to the Theatre (Hampstead). For six years he was Resident Director at the RSC. Film work includes Persuasion, Titanic Town, My Night with Reg, Notting Hill, Changing Lanes, The Mother, Enduring Love, Venus, Morning Glory, Le Weekend, My Cousin Rachel. His television credits include The Buddha of Suburbia, Downtown Lagos, The Lost Honour of Christopher Jeffries.