Conversation: Geoffrey Rush

BY Arts Desk  May 29, 2009 at 6:55 PM EST

The king is 400 years old, and all is not well in his realm. The palace is falling apart, his two wives are at odds, the population is down from, as we’re told, “nine thousand million” to “a thousand old people,” who are “dying as we speak.”

Humor, absurdity, and the hard facts of death and decay are all at work in Eugene Ionesco’s play, “Exit the King,” now on Broadway in a new, English adaptation by director Neil Armfield and the actor Geoffrey Rush.

Mr. Rush is, of course, well-known for many film roles, including “Shine,” for which he won an Academy Award, “Shakespeare in Love,” “Pirates of the Caribbean” and much more. “Exit the King” is his debut on Broadway, and he’s been nominated for a Tony Award for best actor in a play.

I had the great pleasure of seeing his performance recently and the pleasure of talking to him by phone from New York:

You can watch scenes from “Exit the King” below and find out more about the play at its Web site.