CHESTER'S Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre has made a royal appointment for its summer Shakespeare production.

Joseph Millson, best known for appearing in The Last Kingdom, Banished, Holby City and The Sarah Jane Adventures, has been confirmed as the title role in Henry V.

He will perform as the warrior king in Loveday Ingram’s Henry V between July 26 and August 25, as the open air theatre marks the 10th year of the award-winning theatre, produced by Storyhouse.

An experienced theatre actor, Joseph Millson won the 2017 UKTheatre Award for best performance in a play for The Rover (Loveday Ingram) at the Royal Shakespeare Company (where he is an associate artist). He was recently announced as Mr Banks in the West End’s revival of Mary Poppins.

Other recent credits include Keith (Arcola Theatre), Apologia (Trafalgar Studios), Mr Foote’s Other Leg (Haymarket Theatre) and Macbeth in Macbeth at Shakespeare’s Globe theatre, in a production subsequently filmed and screened in cinemas worldwide.

Feature films include starring roles in Tango One, All The Devils Men, The Dead 2, I Give It A Year, Casino Royale, The Chameleon and forthcoming leading roles in Angel Has Fallen and Dragonheart Vengeance.

He said: “I know some phrases get overused by people about to embark on new adventures but I really am delighted to be coming to Chester to join the ensemble company for this year’s season at the beautiful Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre. For so many reasons!

"My wife and I have been to see several productions there and have been knocked out by the quality and spirit every time.

"I’ve known Alex Clifton the artistic director at Storyhouse for a long time, in fact we have both run the same theatre company (Pursued By A Bear) years ago, I am so impressed and inspired by all he’s achieved in Chester.

"I get to play Henry the bloomin’ Fifth! A part I have salivated over for decades, and for the wonderful director Loveday Ingram who I had a life changingly good time working with previously on The Rover for the Royal Shakespeare Company.

"I cannot wait to work with our two other wonderful directors too. I have always relished working in genuine ensemble companies where the play is the star and the audience is the boss, and that’s how things always feel in Grosvenor Park."

Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre opens on Friday, July 5 and runs until Sunday, August 25.

The company will perform Henry V, Twelfth Night (Julia Thomas) and a brand-new version of The Borrowers by Bryony Lavery, directed by Katie Posner. Rhys Jarman will design all three shows in the season.

Joseph Millson will also perform in The Borrowers and Twelfth Night.

Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre was founded in 2010. Its first productions Much Ado About Nothing and Hercules were staged on a simple wooden platform stage, for three weeks, to an audience of 2,500.

In the nine years that followed, it has moved from a small stage, to a thrust stage to a full in the round theatre. Over 40 per cent of its seats are now covered, and its capacity has doubled. The theatre now welcomes around 27,000 theatregoers for nine weeks each summer.

Tickets are on sale now, children under 5 go free

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