The Royal Shakespeare Company has announced casting for its Summer 2019 season in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, running from February 2019. 27 actors will perform in two plays each as part of an ensemble company.
Following roles in DIDO QUEEN OF CARTHAGE, JULIUS CAESAR and ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA, Lucy Phelps returns to the RSC to lead the cast of AS YOU LIKE IT, directed by Kimberley Sykes. Phelps will play the role of Rosalind alongside David Ajao as Orlando, who previously performed at the RSC in THE MERCHANT OF VENICE and OTHELLO in 2015.
Justin Audibert directs a new gender swapped version of THE TAMING OF THE SHREW, where women play the male roles, whilst men play the female roles. Claire Price and Joseph Arkley take the lead roles of Petruchia and Katharine respectively.
Sandy Grierson, who played the roles of Faustus and Mephistopheles in DOCTOR FAUSTUS will play Angelo in artistic director Gregory Doran’s new staging of MEASURE FOR MEASURE. Grierson is joined by Antony Byrne as The Duke, who’s previous roles at the RSC include Antony in ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA. Lucy Phelps completes the principal cast as Isabella.
The full ensemble for the season includes: David Ajao, Joseph Arkley, Charlotte Arrowsmith, Hannah Azuonye, Patrick Brennan, Graeme Brookes, Melody Brown, Antony Byrne, Richard Clews, James Cooney, Tom Dawze, Amelia Donkor, Laura Elsworthy, Sandy Grierson, Amanda Harris, Emily Johnstone, Alex Jones, Karina Jones, Sophie Khan Levy, Alexander Mushore, Michael Patrick, Lucy Phelps, Claire Price, Sophie Stanton, Aaron Thiara, Amy Trigg and Leo Wan.
The group of actors will perform in the shows at Stratford-upon-Avon over Summer 2019 before touring all three shows in repertory around the UK.
Artistic Director Gregory Doran said: ‘This season reflects the power of storytelling in its most essential form, with the actor at the centre of the work. With Justin Audibert and Kimberley Sykes, I am creating a company which reflects the nation in terms of gender, ethnicity, regionality, and disability – 27 actors who will all appear in two out of the three plays.
We will build on our commitment to inclusivity and create a truly shared theatrical experience. We are also making some exciting changes to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre auditorium specifically for this season by extending the audience further round the stage at the Circle levels than ever before, creating new perspectives on the action, truly exploiting the unique qualities of our thrust stage, showing our work in a completely new way. We will then tour all three shows in repertoire, something that is rarely achieved with large scale productions’.
AS YOU LIKE IT features direction from Kimberley Sykes with set design by Stephen Brimson Lewis, costume and lighting by Bretta Gerecke, music by Tim Sutton, sound by Jonathan Ruddick, movement by Ayse Tashkiran and fights by Rachel Bown-Williams and Ruth Cooper-Brown. It runs from 14th February to 31st August.
THE TAMING OF THE SHREW is directed by Justin Audibert with design by Stephen Brimson Lewis, costumes by Hannah Clark, lighting by Matt Peel, music by Ruth Chan, sound by Claire Windsor, movement by Lucy Cullingford and fights by Rachel Bown-Williams and Ruth Cooper-Brown. It runs from 8th March to 31st August.
MEASURE FOR MEASURE features direction by Gregory Doran with design by Stephen Brimson Lewis, costumes by Hannah Clark, lighting by Matt Peel, music by Ruth Chan, sound by Claire Windsor, movement by Lucy Cullingford and fights by Rachel Bown-Williams and Ruth Cooper-Brown. It runs from 28th June to 29th August.
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