Returning RSC actors include Antony Byrne, Lucy Phelps, Sandy Grierson and David Ajao.
We have announced the cast for our three summer 2019 Shakespeare plays, with 27 actors performing in two plays each as part of an ensemble company. The three plays, opening from February in Stratford-upon-Avon are:
Following her roles in Dido Queen of Carthage, Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra in 2017, Lucy Phelps returns to play Rosalind in As You Like It, joined by David Ajao as Orlando whose previous RSC roles include The Merchant of Venice and Othello.
Claire Price will play Petruchia and Joseph Arkley will play Katherine in a version of The Taming of the Shrew in which women play the roles written as men and men play those written as women.
Sandy Grierson, who took on the roles of Faustus and Mephistopheles in Dr Faustus will play Angelo in Gregory Doran’s new staging of Measure for Measure, while Antony Byrne plays The Duke, following his performance as Antony in Antony and Cleopatra. They are joined by Lucy Phelps as Isabella.
Actors in the ensemble include Charlotte Arrowsmith, Amanda Harris and James Cooney – who all featured in this year’s Troilus and Cressida – as well as several RSC newcomers.
The diverse group of actors will perform in a newly-reconfigured Royal Shakespeare Theatre and then on tour around the UK, as part of Artistic Director Gregory Doran’s ambition to create an ensemble that reflects the nation.
He says: “This season reflects the power of storytelling in its most essential form, with the actor at the centre of the work. With Justin Audibert and Kimberley Sykes, I am creating a company which reflects the nation in terms of gender, ethnicity, regionality, and disability - 27 actors who will all appear in two out of the three plays.
“We will build on our commitment to inclusivity and create a truly shared theatrical experience. We are also making some exciting changes to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre auditorium specifically for this season by extending the audience further round the stage at the Circle levels than ever before, creating new perspectives on the action, truly exploiting the unique qualities of our thrust stage, showing our work in a completely new way. We will then tour all three shows in repertoire, something that is rarely achieved with large scale productions.”