An A-lister like Ralph Fiennes treading the boards is enough to make the hallowed pages of national newspapers like the Daily (Hate) Mail and generate a bit of excitement in theatreland but I just can't get that worked up about this particular casting.
Yes I'll go for reasons outlined below but Ralph Fiennes is one of those actors who impresses in those rare roles when he is playing against type. On stage there was an arrogance to his Oedipus and Prospero that left me cold and unmoved while in the comedy God of Carnage he was a joy to watch.
On screen the roles that stand out are the sweary East End villain Harry in In Bruges, the uber-evil Voldemort in the Harry Potter films and most recently M. Gustave in The Grand Budapest Hotel.
Now I'm not familiar with Man and Superman - the George Bernard Shaw play he's been cast in - but his character John Tanner is described as "a well-educated, well-spoken man who takes everything seriously, including himself" which immediately makes me think of the cold and unmoving performances he's given.
I'm probably being unfair but I'm more excited about seeing a Shaw play as I haven't seen many and feel this is a gap in my theatre-going experience. And, you never know he might well prove my assumptions wrong.