Boys from Stratford-upon-Avon cast in Henry IV, Part II

26 March 2014

Two boys from Stratford-upon-Avon have been cast in the Royal Shakespeare Company's forthcoming production of Henry IV, Part II.

Luca Saraceni-Gunner (10) and Jonathan Williams (11) will share the role of Falstaff's page. They are being directed by RSC Artistic Director, Gregory Doran, and will work alongside Sir Antony Sher, who plays Falstaff.

The boys will appear at alternate performances in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre between March – September, and will also be part of the production when it tours the UK this autumn.

Luca attends St Gregory's Roman Catholic Primary School. He previously appeared as Mamillius in the RSC's 2013 production of The Winter's Tale. As well as attending Playbox Theatre, he plays football for Welford and Rugby for Stratford Rugby club. He also enjoys swimming, playing the drums, electric guitar, reading, stop motion animation movie making and playing computer games.

Jonathan is a pupil at Claverdon Primary School, a member of Playbox Theatre, and also enjoys reading and scouts.

Luca said: “I'm very pleased to be back at the RSC, and feel privileged to be working alongside some of the country's finest actors. As well as performing in Stratford, I'm looking forward to being part of the show when it tours later in the year.”

Jonathan said: “I am very excited to be working with lots of professional actors and the RSC, and can't wait to be on stage!”

Sabrina Harris, RSC Lead Chaperone, said: “Both boys have worked extremely hard in rehearsals and they both have their own take on the role. Having worked with Luca before it is great to see him tackle a different part. It's Jonathan's professional debut, and it's fantastic to see him growing in confidence as a young actor every day. Both boys have been a pleasure to work with, and I am equally excited to see them bring the role to life on stage.”

Henry IV Parts I and II continue Gregory Doran's exploration of Shakespeare's History Plays following his production of Richard II in October 2013. With his crown under threat from enemies both foreign and domestic, Part I sees Henry prepare for war and his son, Prince Hal, face up to responsibilities of family and throne. Continuing with Part II, King Henry's health is fading and Hal must choose between duty and loyalty to an old friend in Shakespeare's heart-breaking conclusion to this epic pairing of plays.

In addition to Sir Antony Sher as Falstaff, the cast also features Jasper Britton as Henry lV, Alex Hassell as Prince Hal and Paola Dionisotti as Mistress Quickly.

For further information and photos of the children in rehearsal please contact:
Dean Asker
RSC Press Office
01789 412660, 0778 9937759
dean.asker@rsc.org.uk

Notes to editors
Henry IV, Parts I and II:
Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon
Henry IV, Part I, 18 March – 6 September 2014
Henry IV, Part II, 28 March – 6 September 2014
Box Office: 0844 800 1110 or www.rsc.org.uk

Between 25 September – 15 November, the productions visit Newcastle upon Tyne, Norwich, Salford, Bradford, Bath and Canterbury.

Henry IV, Parts I and II also play The Barbican, London between 29 November 2014 - 24 January 2015. Luca and Jonathan will not appear in Henry IV, Part II in London.

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