James Corden is returning to the stage - and it hasn’t gone down well

James Corden is returning to the stage - and it hasn’t gone down well

Related video: James Corden discusses why he left The Late Late Show

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James Corden, whose acting credits range from Gavin and Stacey to Cats and The Emoji Movie, is to star in a stage show for the first time in 12 years later this year in the form of The Constituent at London’s Old Vic Theatre.

Corden’s last theatre job – Richard Bean’s slapstick farce One Man, Two Guvnors - landed him a Tony Award, in a National Theatre production which later transferred to the West End and Broadway.

He’ll star in the play alongside Line of Duty’s Anna Maxwell Martin, with the show running from 13 June to 10 August.

Sharing the news on Instagram, the former Late Late Show host wrote: “It’s been 13 years since One Man, Two Guvnors ended its run on Broadway and I’ve been desperate to get back on stage in a new play ever since. I can’t wait to start … and to share the legendary Old Vic stage with someone so talented as Anna Maxwell Martin is a dream come true.”

Both Corden and Maxwell Martin will make their Old Vic debuts in the production, which will be directed by the theatre’s artistic director, Matthew Warchus (who’s also behind the hit West End musical version of Matilda).

Zachary Hart, who’s currently starring alongside Doctor Who’s Matt Smith in the Henrik Ibsen play An Enemy of the People, will also appear in the new show penned by playwright Joe Penhall.

A press release describes the story as a “volatile new play” about an MP “with an instinct for compassion”, an “ex-serviceman with a life in free fall” and the politician’s “parliamentary protection officer who’s having none of it”.

It reads: “[Maxwell Martin plays] a hard-working opposition backbencher whose ideals of public office are tested by the demands of a man in crisis.

The Constituent deconstructs politics, panic alarms and the conflict between public service and personal safety.”

Warchus added: “In a landscape of increasing threat, what place is there for empathy? Is an open door policy now dependent on stab vests?”

However, the reaction on social media has been less than positive, with many feeling sorry for Maxwell Martin sharing a stage with Corden:

Corden has long been subject to harsh criticism by Brits in recent years, after a string of controversies which saw him argue with Sir Patrick Stewart during a 2010 awards ceremony, apologise for making jokes about disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein amid the then ongoing sexual harassment scandal at a 2017 gala, and admit he was “ungracious” to staff at Balthazar which saw him banned from the New York City restaurant.

Both this and questionable casting choices has seen people launch petitions to keep him away from certain acting jobs, such as the film adaptation of the musical Wicked.

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