James Corden set to make Old Vic debut in new play The Constituent

 (Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)
(Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

James Corden, who first rose to fame in the comedy Gavin and Stacey, is set to star in a brand-new play at the Old Vic.

Titled The Constituent, the play will mark Corden’s Old Vic debut alongside co-star Anna Maxwell Martin. The pair will be assuming the roles of a hard-working opposition MP (Martin) whose ideals of public office are tested by the demands of a man in crisis (Corden).

The play, which will run from June 13 to August 10, will be directed by Old Vic Artistic Director and Olivier Award winner Matthew Warchus, and promises to “deconstruct politics, panic alarms and the conflict between public service and personal safety.”

This is set to be one of Corden’s first acting roles since returning to the UK last year. A household name thanks to his appearances in The History Boys and beloved sitcom Gavin and Stacey, he left for America to present The Late Late Show in 2015, returning in 2023.

Both he and Martin are no stranger to treading the boards. Corden famously appeared in One Man, Two Guvnors at the National Theatre in 2020, while Martin has appeared in productions including Consent, Cabaret and Macbeth at the Young Vic.

Though few other details have been released about the plot, The Constituent looks set to dissect the dangers that many MPs find themselves in as a result of doing their jobs.

“I began writing this play four years ago, as I became fascinated and appalled by the growing antipathy towards elected politicians,” scriptwriter Joe Penhall said.

“But during lockdown it looked like theatre was done for, so when I showed a rough first draft to Matthew and he had such a confident vision for it, I was simultaneously thrilled and doubtful of our chances. It’s beyond exciting to be finally doing it and I feel utterly indebted to The Old Vic and everyone involved for getting us here.”

“I’m excited to present The Old Vic’s 25th world premiere since my tenure began in 2015 – this urgently topical new play from Joe Penhall set in a local MP’s constituency office,” Warchus added. “In a landscape of increasing threat, what place is there for empathy? Is an open door policy now dependent on stab vests?”