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Sophie Okonedo returns to the stage as Cleopatra

Star will play the ultimate femme fatale at the National Theatre early next year

    Sophie Okonedo at Theatreland's 'Oscars.' The Olivier Awards
    Sophie Okonedo at Theatreland's 'Oscars.' The Olivier Awards (Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images)

    Award-winning actress Sophie Okonedo, who was appointed OBE in the Queen’s 2010 Birthday Honours, is to return to the London stage in 2018 as Egyptian queen Cleopatra in a new production of Shakespeare’s perennially popular Anthony and Cleopatra.

    Ms Okonedo will be joined by The English Patient and Harry Potter star Ralph Fiennes who will co-star as rogue Roman general Anthony. The production will be directed by Simon Godwin.

    The play was originally scheduled to open at National Theatre’s Olivier stage in February 2018 although the exact date now looks uncertain.

    Ms Okonedo last appeared at the National in 1999 when she played opposite Simon Russell Beale in John Caird’s production of Bulwer-Lytton's Money.

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