Before Jeremy Strong landed the role of Kendall Roy on HBO’s smash-hit Succession, he was a dedicated stage actor trying to scrape by in NYC. He eventually made his Broadway debut in 2008 in a revival of “A Man for All Seasons.” Next year, he will return to the Broadway stage as Dr. Thomas Stockmann in “An Enemy of the People” – originally penned by famed Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen. Let’s take a look at what we know so far about the newest revival of the play as well as Strong’s longstanding roots in the theater.
About the Production
In the past, there have been 10 productions of Ibsen’s 1882 work, “An Enemy of the People.” This forthcoming production is being adapted by Amy Herzig, a Pulitzer Prize finalist who recently adapted another Ibsen work, “A Doll’s House,” on Broadway starring Jessica Chastain and Arian Moayed (another Succession alumni). Herzig’s new script will be directed by her husband, Sam Gold, a Tony Award-winning theater director and actor.
As of now, Strong is the only confirmed cast member in the production. The remaining cast and theater dates are yet to be announced. Produced by Seaview, the 16-week limited Broadway engagement is expected to arrive in early 2024.
Ibsen’s “An Enemy of the People”
Second to Shakespeare, Henrik Ibsen is one of the most frequently performed playwrights in the world. His plays were stirring and controversial for their time and became early staples of modernist theater. He favored topics of individual freedom, societal expectation, hypocrisy, and gender roles in his dramas.
“An Enemy of the People,” is a five-act play set in a small Norwegian town where a doctor named Thomas Stockmann discovers the local spa water to be poisoned. After his discovery, he pushes to have the spa closed but finds that his concerns fall on deaf ears. Townsmen are more perturbed about how the news of the toxic water may negatively impact the local economy. Thus begins Ibsen’s ever-timely drama meditating on themes of power, influence, and public opinion. Markedly, all of these themes carry over from the world of Succession, where Jeremy Strong has wowed audiences since 2018.
Strong’s Theater Background
In a recent feature with CBS Sunday Morning, Strong discussed his early career trajectory as a stage actor before his big break. He started in community theater at age five and joined the cast of a slew of formative off-Broadway productions as a young adult. During this stretch of financial instability, Strong recognized the “inherent value of doing good work” regardless of how many people were going to see it and diligently honed his craft on the stage.
Eventually, Strong transitioned away from theater and into film after a casting director saw his performance playing a war veteran in “Parrafin” at the quaint Rattlestick Theater. Since then, he’s landed roles in the likes of Zero Dark Thirty, The Big Short, and, of course, Succession. With the latter now coming to an end, Strong sets his sights on exciting new projects. Alongside his return to Broadway, he’s also set to star in and executive produce a limited series about 9/11 responders titled “The Best of Us.”
Though it’s hard for Succession superfans to bid Kendall Roy goodbye, Strong’s undeniable talent ensures his future roles are just as memorable and moving.
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