The National Theatre has announced the actors who will take part in celebrations for the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible from 8 October to 6 November 2011.

The ensemble of leading NT talents includes Nancy Carroll, Lindsay Duncan, Alan Howard, Alex Jennings, Stephen Campbell Moore, Andrew Scott, Paterson Joseph, Maureen Lipman, Patricia Routledge and Simon Russell Beale.

The 12 extracts being read have been edited by director, translator and dramaturg Edward Kemp. The readings will be directed by James Dacre, Polly Findlay and National Theatre director Nicholas Hytner.

One of a number of theatrical events taking place across London to celebrate the 400th anniversary of "the greatest book ever written", twelve 80-minute extracts of the King James Bible will be staged in the NT Lyttleton. The extracts are:

  • In the Beginning: From the Creation of the World to Joseph and his brothers in Egypt. Readers include Samuel Barnett, Lindsay Duncan and Alan Howard.
  • Let My People Go: Moses and his people escape slavery in Egypt in search of the Promised Land. Readers include Pippa Bennett-Warner, David Calder and Paterson Joseph.
  • The Line of David: The boy David defeats a giant and unifies a kingdom. His son Solomon builds the temple in Jerusalem. Readers include Sebastian Armesto, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, Patricia Routledge and John Shrapnel.
  • Psalms of David and Song of Solomon: The lyrics that have inspired some of the most evocative and sensual translations in English. Read by Nancy Carroll, Patricia Routledge and Jo Stone-Fewings.
  • Where Shall Wisdom be Found?: As the world falls apart around them, Ecclesiastes the Preacher and Job seek for meaning in catastrophe. Readers include Nikki Amuka-Bird, Mark Bonnar, Paterson Joseph and Dominic Rowan.
  • The People that Walked in Darkness: As Israel faces disaster, Isaiah foretells the future. Readers include Maureen Lipman, Prasanna Puwanarajah and Emily Taaffe.
  • The Gospel According to Mark: The earliest gospel – Mark’s – is the shortest and most direct telling of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Read by Gwilym Lee, Elliot Levey, John Light and Patricia Routledge.
  • The Gospel According to Matthew: The most influential of the gospels in English, Matthew dramatises the coming of the kingdom of heaven. Read by Stephen Campbell Moore, Kenneth Cranham, Deborah Findlay and Gerald Kyd.
  • The Gospel According to Luke: Luke dwells on the some of the most human moments in the life of Jesus. Read by Nancy Carroll, Charlotte Emmerson, Mark Gatiss, Stuart McQuarrie and Paul Ready.
  • The Tongues of Men and Angels: The Acts and Letters of Peter and Paul shape the foundation of the Church. Readers include Peter McDonald and Geoffrey Streatfeild.
  • The Gospel According to John: The latest gospel – John’s – celebrates the mystery of the incarnation. Readers include Alex Jennings, Cush Jumbo, Nick Sampson and Andrew Scott.
  • Revelation: Written in a time of persecution, the Revelation of John foresees the end of days. Read by Simon Russell Beale.

  • Casting has been announced for the Royal Shakespeare Company premiere of David Farr's The Heart of Robin Hood which opens at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford on 1 December (previews from 18 November).

    Helmed by Icelandic actor and director Gisli Orn Gardarsson, who recently took the title role in RSC and Kneehigh co-production Don John, The Heart of Robin Hood will see James McArdle and Iris Roberts make their RSC debuts in the roles of Robin and Marion.

    McArdle's credits include Lucy Bailey’s Macbeth at Shakespeare's Globe (nominated for the 2011 Ian Charleson Award), A Month in the Country for the Chichester Festival Theatre, Spur of the Moment at the Royal Court (nominated for the Evening Standard Award for Best Newcomer) and Jonathan Kent’s Emperor and Galilean at the National. His screen credits include ITV’s recent drama Appropriate Adult and the BBC’s political thriller Page Eight.

    Iris Roberts has recently been seen in Doctor Faustus and God of Soho at Shakespeare's Globe and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at the Donmar Warehouse. Her other credits include: Sex Toys, Northern Spirit, Roxane in Cyrano de Bergerac, Nabakov's A Day that Shook the Nation and Skyscraper for the Public Theater, New York.

    Icelandic actor Olafur Darri Olafsson makes his RSC debut with the piece and joins the cast alongside Martin Hutson who was recently seen in West End revival of Simon Gray's Butley. The cast also includes: Peter Bray, Fiona Lait, Robert Luckay, Emma Manton, Flora Montgomery, Darwin Shaw, Marcello Walton, Lawrence Werber, Addis Williams and Andy Williams. Further casting is still to be announced.

    The Heart of Robin Hood has set design by Börkur Jonsson, costumes by Emma Ryott, lighting designed by Björn Helgason and music by Högni Egilsson. The associate director and movement director is Icelandic Eurovision Song Contest runner-up Selma Björnsdóttir.