Ralph Fiennes prepares a return to Shaw’s Man And Superman

Ralph Fiennes in Man And Superman. Photo Juergen Teller.
Ralph Fiennes in Man And Superman. Photo Juergen Teller.

Ralph Fiennes returns to the National as Jack Tanner in Simon Godwin’s reinvention of Bernard Shaw’s witty, provocative classic, Man And Superman, opening in the Lyttelton Theatre on February 25.

The cast also includes Tim McMullan and Indira Varma.

A romantic comedy, an epic fairytale, a fiery philosophical debate, Man And Superman asks fundamental questions about how we live.

Jack Tanner, celebrated radical thinker and rich bachelor, seems an unlikely choice as guardian to the alluring heiress, Ann.

But she takes it in her assured stride, and, despite the love of a poet, she decides to marry and tame this dazzling revolutionary.

Tanner, appalled by the whiff of domesticity, is tipped off by his chauffeur and flees to Spain, where he is captured by bandits and meets The Devil.

An extraordinary dream-debate, heaven versus hell, ensues. Following in hot pursuit, Ann is there when Tanner awakes, as fierce in her certainty as he is in his.

Ralph Fiennes first played Tanner for Sir Peter Hall’s BBC Radio Three audio production in 1996. He appeared at the NT most recently in the title role of Oedipus, and in the theatre’s 50th anniversary gala performance.

His extensive film appearances include The Grand Budapest Hotel, Skyfall, Voldemort in the Harry Potter films, The Constant Gardener, The English Patient and Schindler’s List.

Indira Varma’s recent theatre work includes Titus Andronicus, The Hothouse, Dance of Death, Twelfth Night and Hysteria.

Her screen appearances include Game of Thrones, What Remains, Rome, Luther and Exodus: Gods and Kings.

Man And Superman runs from February 17 (previews) until May 17. It will be broadcast at cinemas and theatres around the UK on May 14 as part of NTLive.