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IAN McDIARMID (Palpatine) has a very successful career as an actor and director. He is Joint Artistic Director of the highly acclaimed Almeida Theatre in North London.

McDiarmid first worked with Lucasfilm playing the Emperor in Return of the Jedi, a role he reprised in The Phantom Menace and, now, in Attack of the Clones. Additional film credits include Dragonslayer, Gorky Park, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, directed by Frank Oz, Restoration, Annie: A Royal Adventure and Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow.

His many television credits include Hillsborough, Karaoke, A Few Select Exits, Great Expectations, All The King's Men and, most recently, Crime and Punishment.

McDiarmid was an Associate Director at The Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, where he played the title role in Edward II, Philip II in Don Carlos and directed Moliere's Don Juan. He was Bradley Pearson in Iris Murdoch's The Black Prince at the Aldwych Theatre, and has played leading roles at the Royal Shakespeare Company, The Royal National Theatre and The Royal court, where he won the Society of West End Theatre's Best Actor Award for his performance as Einstein in Insignificance. He has appeared at the Royal Opera house, Covent Garden and with the London Symphony Orchestra.

For the Almeida, McDiarmid directed Scenes From An Execution, The Rehearsal (also West End), Lulu, A Hard Heart, Venice Preserv ‘d and the opera Siren Song. His Almeida acting work includes the title role in Volpone, Goya in the opera Terrible Mouth, Amolphe in The School/br Wives, Orgon in Tartuffe, Count Cenci in The Cenci, Colenso Ridgeon in The Doctor's Dilemma, Barabas in Marlowe's The Jew of Malta, Prospero in The Tempest and most recently Teddy in Brian Friel's Faith Healer, for which he won The Critics' Circle Best Actor Award, 2002.


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