YPS King Lear to tour

10 August 2012

TIM CROUCH DIRECTS RSC'S NEW YOUNG PEOPLE'S SHAKESPEARE PRODUCTION – KING LEAR

PAUL COPLEY TO PLAY LEAR

On UK tour from 11 September to 1 December 2012 playing in schools and theatres in Southampton, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Truro, Hull, York, Birmingham and The Courtyard Theatre in Stratford upon Avon

Press Performance: Thursday 13 September at 12.30pm, Nuffield Theatre, Southampton

Paul Copley makes his Royal Shakespeare Company debut to take the title role in Tim Crouch's new seventy five minute stripped down version of King Lear. Paul's extensive theatre, film and TV career includes Winterlong at the Royal Exchange, Manchester, A Bridge Too Far on the big screen and Mason in ITV's award-winning Downton Abbey.

This new edited version of Shakespeare's tragedy will be brought to life for schools, families and younger audiences. The production promises to be as accessible and thrilling as the RSC's previous Young People's Shakespeare (YPS) productions – The Comedy of Errors, Hamlet and The Taming of the Shrew, the latter also edited and directed by Crouch.

In Tim's new YPS production, designed by Lily Arnold, a royal family gathers for Christmas and the father broadcasts his seasonal message. He's giving up work and dividing his kingdom. With this misjudged act, the natural order is turned upside down and the scene is set for a story of family break-up, homelessness and heartbreak.

Debbie Korley and Dharmesh Patel, who played Ophelia and Hamlet in the YPS production of Hamlet last season, make a welcome return to the company, Dharmesh to play Edgar and Cornwall and Debbie to play Cordelia.

The cast is completed by Anna Bolton as Goneril, Ben Deery as Edmund, Colm Gormley as Albany, Tyrone Huggins as Gloucester, Carolina Main as Regan and Matt Sutton as Kent.

Tim Crouch said: 'With the RSC's Young People's Shakespeare, the audience is the focus; they guide my hand with the edit and our work in rehearsal. It's a privilege for me to repay their influence with one of the greatest plays ever written. In theatre, not much compares to introducing a Shakespeare play to an audience who have never seen Shakespeare before. And when that play is King Lear….

'The story of Lear doesn't belong in an excluding world of adults and academics. It is raw and immediate and true. In the 75 minutes of this production, we go to the heart of two families in crisis, of child against father, sibling against sibling. As my YPS production of The Taming of the Shrew proved last year - young people live in a world of great light and shade and can understand that complexity. Our job with YPS Lear is to guide our audience through Shakespeare's story with care and respect and to share with them the possibilities of live theatre.'

Tim Crouch recently wrote and directed I, Cinna, The Poet, a companion piece to the RSC's current production of Julius Caesar and part of the World Shakespeare Festival. A filmed version of the play with Jude Owusu as Cinna (a role he also plays in Gregory Doran's African Julius Caesar) was simultaneously broadcast to thousands of secondary school students throughout the UK on 2 July.

The tour of King Lear forms part of the RSC's Learning and Performance Network, a three year touring and education partnership with five regional theatres and their local schools: Nuffield Theatre, Southampton; Theatre Royal, Newcastle; Hall for Cornwall; Hull Truck Theatre Company and York Theatre Royal. Funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, this partnership will allow the RSC to take its work into the heart of communities by playing both in schools and theatres.

As previously announced, the production will also play at the Drake Performance and Event Centre at The Ohio State University and in New York in collaboration with Park Avenue Armory.

This will be from 16–27 October (New York) and 31 October–10 November (Ohio).
The Royal Shakespeare Company in America is presented in collaboration with The Ohio State University.

The Cast

Anna Bolton
(Goneril). Anna's stage credits include Malaise Trio (Camden's People Theatre), Scratch Night Live (Live Theatre), Don't let me get me (Theatre 503) and Chalet Lines (Live Theatre).

Paul Copley (King Lear) Paul' s numerous TV credits include: Mason in Downton Abbey, Survivors, White Heat and Torchwood and on stage: Winterlong (Manchester Royal Exchange), Lulu (Gate Theatre, Notting Hill) and Kent in King Lear (Shakespeare's Globe). His films include Blow Dry, Jude, The Remains of the Day, Zulu Dawn, A Bridge Too Far and Days of Hope.

Ben Deery (Edmund). Ben's theatre credits include: All Good Men (Finborough Theatre), The Woman in Black (Fortune Theatre), Anne Boleyn, All's Well that Ends Well and Henry VIII (Shakespeare's Globe), and Much Ado about Nothing at Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds.

Colm Gormley (Albany). Colm's recent stage work includes: Melmoth The Wanderer (Lyric Theatre, Belfast and Tron Theatre, Glasgow), Truth and Reconciliation (Royal Court), The Blackbird Sings (Playhouse Derry), Arsenic and Old Lace (Salisbury Playhouse) and I'll Be the Devil for the RSC.

Tyrone Huggins (Gloucester). Tyrone played Kamal in Dominic Cooke's adaptation of Malorie Blackman's Noughts & Crosses for the RSC. Other theatre includes: Natural Breaks and Rhythms (Northampton Theatre), Of Mice and Men (Birmingham Rep and Savoy Theatre), Time and the Room (Nottingham Playhouse) and Murmuring Judges and The Absence of War (National Theatre).

Debbie Korley (Cordelia) was part of the RSC long ensemble from 2009-11. As well as playing Ophelia in Hamlet during this time, her other credits include Luciana in the YPS Comedy of Errors, Romeo and Juliet, As You Like It, and Morte d'Arthur.

Carolina Main (Regan). Caroline's theatre credits include: Viola in Twelfth Night (Swivel Theatre Company), Hermione in The Winter's Tale and All's Well That Ends Well (Cambridge Shakespeare Festival). Films include: The Swimmer and The Lost Girls.

Dharmesh Patel (Edgar and Cornwall) was also part of the RSC long ensemble from 2009-11. As well as playing Hamlet, his credits during the season include: YPS Comedy of Errors, Romeo and Juliet, As You Like It, The Grain Store, American Trade and Morte D'Arthur.

Matt Sutton (Kent). Theatre credits include: Hide (Queens Hall Arts), Wild Man on my Back (Ensemble 52), The Game and Romeo and Juliet (Northern Broadsides) and Up on the Roof (Hull Truck). TV includes FC Dave, Emmerdale and 55 Degrees North.

For further information (national and education media) please contact Nada Zakula in the RSC Press Office on 01789 412622 or nada.zakula@rsc.org.uk

For the tour and press tickets please contact Dean Asker on 01789 412660 or dean.asker@rsc.org.uk

YPS KING LEAR UK TOUR DATES:

SOUTHAMPTON 11 – 15 September

Bitterne Park Secondary School

Tuesday 11 September , 1.15pm and 7pm
Tickets for the 7pm performance are available to the public by contacting the school on 023 80 325200. The 1.15pm performance is not open to the public.

Nuffield Theatre
Box Office: 023 8067 1771, www.nuffieldtheatre.co.uk

Wednesday 12 September, 12.30pm and 7.30pm
Thursday 13 September, 12.30pm and 7.30pm
Friday 14 September, 7.30pm
Saturday 15 September, 2.30pm

NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE 18 – 21 September

Acklam Grange School

Tuesday 18 September, 10am and 1pm
Wednesday 19 September, 1pm and 7pm

Tickets for these four performances are available to the public by contacting the Theatre Royal, Newcastle on 08448 112121, www.theatreroyal.co.uk.

Archibald Primary School

Thursday 20 September, 9.30am and 2pm

Tickets for these two performances are available to the public by contacting the Theatre Royal, Newcastle on 08448 112121, www.theatreroyal.co.uk.

Theatre Royal, Newcastle
Box Office: 08448 112121, www.theatreroyal.co.uk

Friday 21 September – 10am and 1pm

TRURO 25 – 28 September

Treviglas Community College, Newquay
Tuesday 25 September, 10am and 7pm
Wednesday 26 September, 1.45pm and 7pm

Tickets for the 10am performance on Tuesday 25 and the 1.45pm performance on Wednesday 26 September are available to the public by contacting the College on 01637 872076. The other two 7pm performances are on sale through Hall for Cornwall on 01872 262466, www.hallforcornwall.co.uk

Bodmin College
Thursday 27 September, 1.45pm and 7pm

Tickets for the 1.45pm performance on Thursday 27 September are available to the public by contacting the College on 01208 72114. The 7pm performance is on sale through Hall for Cornwall on 01872 262466, www.hallforcornwall.co.uk

Brannel School, St Austell

Friday 28 September – 11.15am and 7pm

Tickets for the 11.15am performance on Friday 28 September are available to the public on 01726 822485. The 7pm performance is on sale through Hall for Cornwall on 01872 262466, www.hallforcornwall.co.uk

HULL 2 – 6 October
St Mary's College

Tuesday 2 October, 10.30am and 2pm
Wednesday 3 October, 11am and 7pm

Tickets for the 7pm performance on Wednesday 3 October are available to the public by contacting the College on 01482 800410. The other three performances are not open to the public.

Hull Truck Theatre
Box Office: 01482 323638 or www.hulltruck.co.uk

Thursday 4 October, 7pm
Friday 5 October, 10.30am and 7pm
Saturday 6 October, 2pm

YORK 19 – 24 November
York High School

Tuesday 20 November, 12.45pm and 7.30pm
Wednesday 21 November, 12.45pm and 7.30pm

Tickets to the 7.30pm performance on 20 November are available to the public by contacting the school on 01904 555509. The other three performances are not open to the public.

York Theatre Royal Ballroom
Box Office: 01904 623568, www.yorktheatreroyal.co.uk

Thursday 22 November, 10am and 1.30pm
Friday 23 November, 7.30pm
Saturday 24 November, 2.30pm

BIRMINGHAM/STRATFORD-UPON-AVON 28 November – 1 December
St Alban's Academy, Birmingham

Wednesday 28 November, 2pm and 6.30pm
Thursday 29 November, 2pm and 6.30pm
These performances are not open to the public.

Courtyard Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon
Box Office: 0844 800 1110, www.rsc.org.uk

Friday 30 November, 12.30pm and 7pm
Saturday 1 December, 10.30am and 2pm

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