RSC on the look out for volunteers to be part of Julius Caesar production

16 March 2012

The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) is looking for volunteers to get involved in its forthcoming production of Julius Caesar, which is part of the 2012 World Shakespeare Festival. Set in Africa, the show features an all black British cast, and runs in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon between 28 May – 7 July.

Those who volunteer will appear on stage in street scenes and as crowds of citizens alongside a cast that includes: Adjoa Andoh (Holby City), Ray Fearon (Coronation Street, Strictly Come Dancing), Paterson Joseph (Peep Show, Survivors), Jeffery Kissoon (Antony and Cleopatra with Kim Cattrall) and Cyril Nri (The Bill).

Directed by Gregory Doran, who directed David Tennant in Hamlet in 2008, this is a chance to be part of the Royal Shakespeare Company and to discover what it is like to put on a show from rehearsals to opening night. As well as being on stage, the volunteers will also encounter the work of other theatre departments, including lighting, sound, movement, voice, stage-management, costume, and communications and marketing.

The production is set in Africa so the RSC is looking for black volunteers (men and women over the age of 18) to perform as the crowd of up to 25 people at each performance. There is no requirement to have been on stage before.

Talking about the modern-day African setting for the production, Gregory Doran said:

“One of the inspirations behind setting Julius Caesar in Africa was discovering the Robben Island Shakespeare and that Nelson Mandela had chosen to autograph lines from the play, asserting that it spoke in a particular way to his continent. It also struck me that there must be some reason why Julius Nyerere, the first president of Tanzania, had translated the play into Swahili. The esteemed South African actor John Kani put it most succinctly when he told me that Julius Caesar was quite simply “Shakespeare's Africa play”.

Anyone interested in taking part and finding out more is invited to come along to a series of information sessions taking place on the following evenings:

Tuesday 3 April, anytime from 5.30-7.30pm
Afro Caribbean Millennium Centre, 339 Dudley Rd, Winson Green, Birmingham, B18 4HB

Wednesday 4 April, anytime from 5.30-7.30pm
Millennium Point, Reception area of Birmingham School of Acting, Ground Floor, Millennium Point, Curzon Street, Eastside, Birmingham, B4 7XG

Tuesday 10 April, anytime between 5.30-7.30pm
The Drum, 144 Potters Lane, Aston, Birmingham, B6 4UU

Those who commit to the production must be able to come to Stratford-upon-Avon on the following dates: Saturday 14 April, which will be a chance to meet the team and participate in a workshop so volunteers can definitely decide whether they want to take part, and to work on scenes on Saturday 28 April (daytime, Scene 1), Bank Holiday Monday 7 May (daytime, Scene 2), Friday 11 May (evening, Scene 3), and all day on Saturday 12 May (Scene 4). Everyone will be required full time on Wednesday 23, Thursday 24, Friday 25 and Saturday 26 May.

The show runs in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, every Monday to Saturday evening at 7.15pm and some midweek and Saturday afternoon performances at 1.15pm from 28 May until 7 July 2012 (the performance on Wednesday 6 June begins at 7pm).

All volunteers would need to be able to commit to at least 4 performances per week including some afternoon performances. Travel expenses will be covered.

Members of the public with any questions at this stage should contact: caesarvolunteers@rsc.org.uk

For further press information please contact:
Nada Zakula
Senior Press Officer
01789 412622
nada.zakula@rsc.org.uk

Or

Dean Asker
Press and Communications Officer
01789 412660
dean.asker@rsc.org.uk

Notes to editors

A publicity image is available on request from Nada Zakula or Dean Asker (details above)

The World Shakespeare Festival (WSF) is a celebration of Shakespeare as the world's playwright, produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company, in an unprecedented collaboration with leading UK and international arts organizations, and with Globe to Globe, a major international programme produced by Shakespeare's Globe. It runs from 12 April to November and forms part of London 2012 Festival which is the culmination of the Cultural Olympiad, bringing leading artists from all over the world together in a UK-wide festival in the summer of 2012.
For further details http://www.worldshakespearefestival.org.uk/
The World Shakespeare Festival is supported by BP, as Founding Presenting Partner, and by the National Lottery through the Olympic Lottery Distributor and Arts Council England.

Social media links at www.facebook.com/worldshakespearefestival and www.twitter.com/wsf2012

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