Cast and Creatives

Oliver Cudbill headshot
Gratiano Oliver Cudbill

This is Oliver's RSC debut season

Trained: LAMDA

Theatre includes: Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare’s Globe); Spring Awakening (Young Vic); The F-Word (Old Red Lion); After Before (Bunker Theatre); Put Out The Lights (Avenue Theatre)

Film includes: Chocolate Pieces

Television includes: Doctors

Shani Erez headshot
Shylock Shani Erez

This is Shani's RSC debut season

Trained: Royal Central School of Speech and Drama

Theatre includes: A Midsummer Night's Dream (The Southbank Centre); Twelfth Night (Moving Stories at The Minack); Turn Right, Turn Left (Fleet Street, Hamburg); Others (The Paper Birds Theatre Company); And Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out (.dash Theatre); Chaika Casino (Theatre Delicatessan/.dash Theatre); Orestes Rexamined (Southwark Playhouse)

Television includes: The Little Drummer Girl, The Honourable Woman, Silent Witness

Film includes: American Assassin

Shani is also a writer and director (Old Red Lion, The Yard, Theatre 503, The Tower Theatre); she is the Artistic Director of Loitering With Intent theatre company and a member of the Lincoln Center's Directors Lab. Shani is an experienced radio DJ and voice-over performer; most recently she co-produced The Animals Podcast.

Sam Pay headshot
Duke / Stephano / Tubal Sam Pay

Previous RSC includes: Tamburlaine, Tartuffe, Timon of Athens

Trained: Academy of Live and Recorded Arts

Theatre includes: Much Ado About Nothing, Godspell, Treasure Island, The Great Gatsby (Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch); Trelawny of the Wells, My Fair Lady, Privates On Parade (Pitlochry Festival Theatre)

Sam began working professionally in theatre at age 8, playing Portly the Baby Otter in the National Theatre's production of The Wind in the Willows, then spent 5 years as a boy soprano. He now co-hosts the award-winning weekly music podcast Song by Song.

Morgan Philpott headshot
Antonio Morgan Philpott

This is Morgan's RSC debut season

Trained: Bristol Old Vic Theatre School

Theatre includes: The Importance of Being Earnest, The Secret Adversary, Peter Pan, Treasure Island, Gulliver's Travels, Arabian Nights, Pinocchio, The Snow Queen (Watermill Theatre); Macbeth (Stafford Gatehouse Theatre); The 101 Dalmatians (Birmingham Rep); The Tempest (Stafford Castle); Partners In Crime (Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch); Larisa and the Merchants (Arcola Theatre); King Lear, As You Like It, Henry V (Creation Theatre); Macbeth, Merry Wives of Windsor, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Twelfth Night, Comedy of Errors, Much Ado About Nothing, Henry V (Guildford Shakespeare Company); The Sound of Music (Kilworth House); Dick Turpin’s Last Ride (Bury St. Edmunds Theatre Royal); Larkrise To Candleford (New Perspectives); Don Quixote (Croydon Warehouse); Twelfth Night, George’s Marvellous Medicine (Birmingham Stage Company); James and the Giant Peach (Northampton Theatre Royal); Pinocchio (Polka Theatre); Much Ado About Nothing, Othello, Hamlet (Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory)

Film and television includes: Casualty, Coronation Street, Doctors, Then Voyager, The Story of George Muller, Beau Brummel

Eloise Secker headshot
Nerissa / Lancelet Gobbo Eloise Secker

Previous RSC includes: The Two Noble Kinsmen, The Rover, The Seven Acts of Mercy, Imperium I and II, First Encounters: The Merchant of Venice

Trained: Rose Bruford

Theatre includes: Measure for Measure (Shakespeare's Globe); Snow White and the Happy Ever After Beauty Salon (The Wrong Crowd/Plymouth Drum); The Santa Trap, There Will Be Monsters (Southampton Mayflower/Rose Kingston/national tour); Match (Sherman Cymru/national tour); The Events (Young Vic); Enduring Song (Southwark Playhouse); Pants On Fire’s Ovid’s Metamorphoses (Flea Theatre, New York/UK tour); Splosh (Salisbury Playhouse/Prime Theatre)

Radio includes: Murder by Proxy, The Gift, Chain Gang, Heathrow  

Ray Sesay headshot
Bassanio / Princes of Morocco and Aragon Ray Sesay

This is Ray's RSC debut season

Trained: Bristol Old Vic Theatre School

Theatre includes: Book of Actions (Camden People’s Theatre); 13 (Tobacco Factory); Chicken Palace (Theatre Royal Stratford East); Red Helicopter, Sons Without Fathers (Arcola Theatre)

Television includes:
Doctor Who, Endeavour, Doctors

Emma Swan headshot
Salerio Emma Swan

This is Emma's RSC debut season

Trained: Drama Studio London and the University of St Andrews

Theatre includes: The Yellow Lada (The Old Red Lion); Sparky the Elf and the Secret Toyshop (Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch); Some Place Better, As You Like It (Red Rose Chain); Jack and the Beanstalk (CAST Theatre)

Voiceover includes: Me and My 10 Kids, If He Wakes, Pimped, Maggsie McNaughton, Alien: Sea of Sorrows, Blood Ties, Believe, Born Bad, Automne A Theoule

Emma's musical comedy duo 'Hadfield and Swan' has just been awarded Best Newcomer at the Musical Comedy Awards 2019.

Yasmin Taheri headshot
Portia Yasmin Taheri

Previous RSC includes: Tamburlaine, Tartuffe, The Merchant of Venice

Television includes: Murder in Provence (ITV/Britbox), Ladhood Series 2 (BBC), Holby City (BBC), Open Wide (Channel 4)  

Theatre (whilst training) includes: The Comedy of Errors, Stuff Happens, Easter, The House of Bernarda Alba, 3 Winters 

 Yasmin trained at RADA .


The roles of Jessica and Lorenzo were played by members of our Next Generation: ACT company, formed of 22 students from around the country: Adam, Callum, Daisy-Mai, Dorcas, Holly, Jacob, Jerminah, Joshua, Kaleb, Kamran, Kieron, Lee, Megan, Mohamed, Nico, Oliver, Olivia, Paige, Sahana, Sahib, Scout and Stephanie.

A group of young actors pose for a group shot in a rehearsal room.
Our Next Generation actors with Director Robin Belfield.
Photo by Sam Allard © RSC Browse and license our images

Next Generation gives talented young people from disadvantaged backgrounds the chance to explore a career in acting, directing or working backstage. Participants in the programme are recruited from the thousands of young people who attend (or have attended) our 500+ associate and partner schools nationwide, in communities that are under-represented in the cultural industries.