Star Wars legend reprises critically acclaimed stage role

Ian McDiarmid in A Life of Galileo ANL-140320-121709001
Ian McDiarmid in A Life of Galileo ANL-140320-121709001

Star Wars legend Ian McDiarmid reprises his critically acclaimed role in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of A Life of Galileo at Cambridge Arts Theatre.

McDiarmid, best known for playing Emperor Palpatine and Darth Sidious in the blockbuster sci-fi film saga, stars in Bertold Brecht’s play set in 1609.

A brilliant scientist is about to make a discovery that will change the world.

Observing the night sky using the recently-invented telescope, he sees the solar system with a clarity never before experienced by astronomers and realises that the earth orbits the sun.

When Galileo’s opponents convince the Pope that these new findings pose a threat to religious dogma and may spark unrest and civil disobedience, he is denounced by the Inquisition as a heretic and forced to publicly denounce his theories.

McDiarmid’s other film credits include Sleepy Hollow, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Dragonslayer.

Theatre credits include Emperor and Galilean, John Gabriel Borkman and Six Characters in Search of an Author.

It is at the Cambridge Arts Theatre from Monday March 31 to Saturday April 5.