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Look out for these West End stars in season 4 of ‘The Crown’

12 November 2020 by Ali Bloomston
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Season 4 of The Crown premieres on Netflix on Sunday, November 15 and the next chapter in the dramatized life of Queen Elizabeth II cannot come soon enough. The new season will introduce several new characters/historical figures (Margaret Thatcher! Princess Diana!) but the actors portraying many of these characters won’t be unfamiliar to West End theatergoers.

Here’s all the stars of Season 4 who have graced the West End Stage before royally gracing the set of Buckingham Palace.

Emma Corrin – Princess Diana

Emma Corrin
Emma Corrin and Nabhaan Rizwaan (Photo courtesy of Kate Morley PR)

Corrin became an overnight sensation of 2020, thanks to her award-winning portrayal as Princess Diana in season 4 of The Crown. In 2021, she’ll make her West End debut in Anna X at the Harold Pinter Theatre, playing an elite fashionista who meticulously curates every part of her identity.

Anna X tickets at the Harold Pinter Theatre starring Emma Corrin are on sale on TodayTix.

Olivia Colman – Queen Elizabeth II

Olivia Colman in The Crown and Hay Fever.

Colman stepped into the Queen’s riding boots in season 3, succeeding Claire Foy, who played the Queen in her younger years in seasons 1 and 2. Before Colman was sipping tea with corgis, she starred in several West End productions, including Long Day’s Journey Into Night and Hay Fever. 

Tobias Menzies – Prince Phillip

Tobias Menzies in The Crown and The Children’s Hour.

We were blown away by Menzies’s performance as the Queen’s cantankerous husband. Season 3 delved deep into Philip’s psyche as he grappled with feelings of purposelessness in his royal role. They say the stage is the best place to develop those sorts of acting chops, and we’re sure Menzies learned a thing or two during his time on the West End stage in Three Sisters and The Children’s Hour.

Gillian Anderson – Margaret Thatcher

Gillian Anderson in The Crown and All About Eve.

The tension between the monarch and the new Prime Minister will be a focal point of season 4, and we are so excited to be stepping into the Thatcher-era (for entertainment purposes, that is). Anderson is well-versed in playing a strong female lead, having recently played the role of Margo Channing in the 2019 production of All About Eve.

Emerald Fennell – Camilla Parker Bowles

While Charles was falling in love with Camilla, we were all falling in love with Emerald Fennell’s performance. While Fennell has never appeared on the West End stage before, she will be appearing on a West End creative team soon. She’s set to pen the book in the Andrew Lloyd Webber adaptation of Cinderella, premiering on the West End in 2021. She’s also one of the writers of Killing Eve — talk about on-camera and behind-the-scenes skills!

Marion Bailey – Queen Mother

Marion Bailey in The Crown and Handbagged.

Marion Bailey is no stranger to the crown; in fact she played the role of Queen Elizabeth II in the West End play Handbagged, which told the story of the relationship between Thatcher and Her Majesty. That’s what we call full circle.  

Charles Edwards – Martin Charteris

Charles Edwards in The Crown and The King’s Speech

Similar to Marion Bailey, Charles Edwards has a history portraying a member of the royal family. One of his more notable West End appearances was playing the role of Bertie in the original stage play of The King’s Speech. Although he doesn’t play a member of the royal family in The Crown per se, he’s the Queen’s private secretary and confidante which is as close as one can get to being a Windsor.

Charles Dance – Lord Mountbatten

Charles Dance in The Crown and Shadowlands.

Charles Dance has four decades worth of theatre credits under his belt, with the most recent West End credits being Shadowlands, Celebration, and Long Day’s Journey into Night in addition to nearly a dozen Royal Shakespeare Company credits. We know Dance will give a memorable performance in this season of The Crown. Historical spoiler alert: In the era in which season 4 takes place, Mountbatten dies an extremely tragic, almost Shakespearean, death.

Freddie Fox – Mark Thatcher

Freddie Fox in The Crown and An Ideal Husband.

With the debut of Margaret Thatcher in the plot of The Crown comes the introduction of the whole Thatcher family. The actors who play Margaret’s husband Dennis Thatcher (Stephen Boxer) and daughter Carol (Rebecca Humphries) also have screen and stage backgrounds, but Fox is a West End veteran, having appeared in An Ideal Husband and Hay Fever.