Boris Godunov casting update

30 August 2012

Casting update for Michael Boyd's production of Boris Godunov in the Royal Shakespeare Company's Swan Theatre this Autumn.

Boris Godunov

A new adaptation by Adrian Mitchell

Based on the play by Alexander Pushkin

Directed by Michael Boyd

Swan Theatre: 15 November 2012 – 30 March 2013

Press night: Wednesday 28 November 2012, 7pm

World Premiere

Part of the RSC's A World Elsewhere trilogy of newly adapted classics from around the world.

RSC outgoing Artistic Director Michael Boyd directs a new adaptation by Adrian Mitchell of Alexander Pushkin's play, Boris Godunov. Pushkin is thought by many to be the greatest Russian poet and the father of Russian Literature. He wrote Boris Godunov in 1825, inspired by Shakespeare's Macbeth. Its subject is the ruthless Boris Godunov, Tsar from 1598 to 1605, and rumoured to have murdered the Tsarevich Dmitry in order to seize power.

Michael Boyd will direct what will be the culmination of a thread of Russian work he has initiated in the past few years (The Grain Store/The Drunks in 2009). This will be the first time this adaptation has been staged and it was Adrian Mitchell's final project, completed before his death in 2008.

The cast, who also appear in Gregory Doran's The Orphan of Zhao this season, is headed by Lloyd Hutchinson playing the eponymous Boris Godunov. Lloyd was last at the RSC in Boyd's production of Troilus and Cressida in 1998 and his huge body of theatre work recently includes roles at the Royal Court, Donmar Warehouse and National Theatre including Derek Jacobi's Twelfth Night, The Observer, and Life's A Dream and most recently Collaborators.

Gethin Anthony plays Grigory. He plays Renly Baratheon in HBO's hugely popular epic fantasy series, Game of Thrones which can be seen on Sky Atlantic. His recent stage work includes: Carrot at Latitude, In Praise of Love at the Royal and Derngate Theatres in Northampton, Cling to me Like Ivy at Birmingham Rep and Ditch at the Old Vic Tunnels directed by Richard Twyman (Associate Director on the RSC's award-winning Histories cycle).

The cast also includes: Matthew Aubrey (Rozhnov), Adam Burton (Semyon), Lucy Briggs-Owen (Maryna), Joe Dixon (General Basmanov), Jake Fairbrother (Gavrila Pushkin), Nia Gwynne (Nurse), Paul Hamilton (Karela/Shchelkarlov), Susan Momoko Hingley (Rozia), Joan Iyiola (Ksenia), Youssef Kerkour (Kurbsky/Guard), Chris Lew Kum Hoi (Boy/Citizen/Soldier), Siu Hun Li (Krushchev), Patrick Romer (Father Pimen), Sadie Shimmin (Hostess), James Tucker (Shuisky), Graham Turner, Martin Turner (Patriarch Job/Mniszech), Stephen Ventura (Misail/Margaret), Philip Whitchurch (Variaam/Rosen).

The production is designed by Olivier award winning Tom Piper, the lighting designer is Vince Herbert, music is by John Woolf, sound by Jeremy Dunn, movement by Liz Ranken and fights by Terry King.

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Date of issue: 30 August 2012

Notes to Editors:

  •  A World Elsewhere is trilogy of newly adapted classics from around the world during Shakespeare's lifetime. 'A World Elsewhere' is a quote from Shakespeare's Coriolanus, reminding Rome's citizens that there are other countries and people apart from their own.

The other plays in the trilogy, which run in repertoire with Boris Godunov in the Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon are The Orphan of Zhao adapted by James Fenton (previewing from 30 October 2012), and a new adaptation of and A Life of Galileo by Bertolt Brecht, translated by Mark Ravenhill and directed by Roxana Silbert (previewing from 31 January 2013).

  • Rehearsal and production images will be available to download free of charge in due course by registering on  
  •  Twitter hashtag: #RSCBoris
  •  The RSC Ensemble is generously supported by THE GATSBY CHARITABLE FOUNDATION and THE KOVNER FOUNDATION
  •  The RSC Literary Department is generously supported by THE DRUE HEINZ TRUST

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