Miles to play Cromwell in Mantel plays

Miles to play Cromwell in Mantel plays

Actor Ben Miles has been cast as Thomas Cromwell in the Royal Shakespeare Company's adaptations of Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies.

The actor is best known for his role as Patrick in the sitcom "Coupling", and has also appeared in TV programmes such as "Cold Feet" and "Peak Practice". He began his career at the RSC.

Other names announced to take part in the two-part stage production, which will open at the Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon in December, include Nathaniel Parker playing Henry VIII and Paul Jesson as Cardinal Wolsey. Parker has previously appeared in the Inspector Lynley Mysteries and television adaptation of Bleak House, and recently played Gordon Brown in the West End production of The Audience. Jesson has previously worked with the RSC, having last appeared in Troilus and Cressida.

Lucy Briers, who has appeared in "Parade's End" and "Ashes to Ashes", will play Catherine of Aragon.

Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies, published by Fourth Estate, both won the Man Booker Prize, making Mantel the first woman to win the award twice, and the first time it has been won for consecutive books.

The books are being adapted for the stage by director Mike Poulton, who haw previously worked on The Canterbury Tales and Morte d'Arthur.

Mantel is currently writing the third book in the planned trilogy, called The Mirror and the Light.