FIRST LOOK VIDEO OF ARTHUR HUGHES AS RICHARD III RELEASED & FURTHER CASTING ANNOUNCED
Thursday 23 June – Saturday 8 October 2022
Press Night: Thursday 30 June, 7pm
Royal Shakespeare Theatre
Watch Arthur Hughes as Richard III HERE
Download images HERE
The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) has today announced further casting details for its upcoming production of Richard III, which runs from 23 June – 8 October 2022 in the Royal Shakespeare theatre. The production will be directed by Gregory Doran, whose decision to step down as Artistic Director after 35 years with the Company and ten years in post, was announced last month.
Gregory Doran, Director of Richard III said: “It’s a real thrill to be back in the rehearsal room at last working with this fantastic company of actors which includes several familiar faces from current double-bill of Henry VI Rebellion and The Wars of the Roses alongside returning company members from across the years and those making their debut with the RSC this Summer.
Richard III has a quartet of extraordinary women’s roles and I am delighted that we have enticed RSC veteran Claire Benedict back, (having taken a few years out) to play The Duchess of York; Kristy Bushell (The White Devil) to play Queen Elizabeth; Rosie Sheehy (King John) to play Lady Anne, and of course Mariah Gale returning in the role of Queen Margaret.
Richard III completes the bloody cycle of plays covering the War of the Roses, one of the most turbulent periods in English history. It’s the story of Richard, Duke of Gloucester’s unscrupulous climb to power and I’m delighted to be working with Arthur Hughes, whose own particular lived experience’will, I’m sure, bring a new urgent and unexpected perspective to the role of Richard.
Past productions of Richard III at the RSC have included many memorable performances of this role, from Ian Holm to Jonathan Slinger and of course, Antony Sher. Nearly 40 years on from his celebrated performance as Shakespeare’s ‘bottled spider’, I’m delighted to be putting disabled talent centre stage in this savage analysis of tyranny and the dangers of letting it go unchecked
The RSC has also released new video footage of Arthur Hughes in the title role of Richard following his RSC debut in Wars of the Roses this Spring which was described as a performance of ‘hypnotic, snarling intensity’ (The Telegraph) and as ‘a brilliance of intensifying evil’ (The Observer).
“Arthur Hughes puts down a hell of a marker for his forthcoming Richard III.”
Financial Times, Wars of the Roses
“Arthur Hughes makes a gripping Richard, a charismatic and physically forceful presence”
The Stage, Wars of the Roses
Joining Arthur on stage in the role of Anne is Rosie Sheehy, who last performed at the RSC in 2019, playing the title role in King John, directed by Eleanor Rhode.
Rosie’s other theatre credits include Oleanna (Bath Theatre Royal & The Arts Theatre West End), Anna X (The Vaults), The Wolves (Theatre Royal Stratford East), The Whale (Theatre Royal Bath), Uncle Vanya (Theatre Clwyd/Sheffield Theatres), Escape the Scaffold (Theatre 503), Strife (Chichester Festival Theatre), Bird (Royal Exchange Manchester), The Hairy Ape (The Old Vic) and Chicken (Paines Plough).
Returning to the company following Henry VI: Rebellion and Wars of the Roses are Minnie Gale, Ashley D Gayle and Ben Hall who will reprise their roles as Margaret, Edward and Clarence respectively. Also returning is Conor Glean who will play the role of Murderer having played the roles of Dick and Young Clifford in Rebellion and The Wars of the Roses.
They will be joined by Nicholas Armfield (Richmond) who was last at the RSC playing Clodius/Agrippa in Imperium, a stage adaptation of the Cicero trilogy of novels by Robert Harris adapted by Mike Poulton for the RSC, which premiered in The Swan Theatre in 2017 before transferring to the Gielgud Theatre, London in the Autumn of 2018. Also returning is Micah Balfour (Hastings), who re-joins the company following his role as Don John in Roy Alexander Weise’s afro-futuristic production of Much Ado About Nothing in 2022 and Claire Benedict (Duchess of York), whose previous RSC credits include The Canterbury Tales, Tamburlaine the Great, Antony and Cleopatra, The Odyssey and Eastward Ho. They will be joined by Kirsty Bushell (Elizabeth) who was last seen in the RSC’s 2014 production of The White Devil directed by Maria Aberg and whose recent theatre credits include The Tempest (Jermyn Street Theatre); King Lear (Duke of York’s Theatre); The Cherry Orchard (Royal Exchange/Bristol Old Vic) and Romeo & Juliet (Shakespeare’s Globe).
Making his RSC debut this season this Spring is Callum Coates (Brackenbury), whose extensive screen credits include the hit BBC series Life After Life (BBC) and Gentleman Jack, The Crown (Netflix), Outlander (Sony/Starz), Emmerdale (ITV), Eastenders (BBC) and The Witcher (Netflix). Callum’s stage credits include award winning A Very Expensive Poison (Old Vic), A Case of the Frightened Lady (UK Tour), Henry V (Antic Disposition), Fallen Angels (Salisbury Playhouse), Propaganda Swing (Coventry Belgrade/Nottingham Playhouse) and A View from the Bridge (Liverpool Playhouse, E&P).
Also making their debut with the company are Oscar Batterham (Rivers), Sophie Cartman (Keeper), Matthew Duckett (Catesby) Will Edgerton (Tyrell) Olivia Onyehara (Dorset/Citizen 2), Thom Petty (Ratcliffe) and Joeravar Sangha (Murderer).
Completing the cast are Simon Coates (Stanley), Eloise Secker (Mistress Shore/Citizen 1) and Jamie Wilkes (Buckingham). Simon’s previous productions for the RSC include Coriolanus, The Merry Wives Of Windsor, Loveplay, Luminosity, The Taming Of The Shrew and The Comedy Of Errors. Eloise Secker played the roles of Clodia & Fulvia in Imperium. Eloise’s other RSC credits include The Two Noble Kinsmen, The Rover, and The Seven Acts of Mercy. Jamie Wilkes last appeared at the RSC playing the role of Charles, the Dauphin in Gregory Doran and Owen Horsley’s 2021 production of Henry VI: Part One Open Rehearsal Project. Jamie was one of the Two Noble Kinsmen in the RSC’s 2016 production of the same name directed by Blanche McIntyre, and appeared in The Rover in 2016, as well Oppenheimer, and The Shoemaker’s Holiday.
Arthur Hughes is best known for his roles as Ryan McDaniel in supernatural Netflix series The Innocents and as Ruairi Donovan in the hit BBC Radio 4 series The Archers. Most recently, Arthur appeared Jack Thorne’s Channel 4 care-home drama Help with Jodie Comer and Stephen Graham and played the co-lead in the ground-breaking BBC civil-rights drama Then Barbara Met Alan (2022) alongside Ruth Madeley, also directed by Jack Thorne, with script by award-winning actor-turned-writer Genevieve Barr. The film tells the story of two disabled cabaret performers, Alan Holdsworth (Arthur) and Barbara Lisicki (Ruth Madeley) who met at a gig in 1989 and would go on to become the driving force behind DAN - the Direct-Action Network, whose fearless and coordinated protests pushed the campaign for disabled rights into the spotlight.
Arthur’s previous stage credits include La Cage Aux Folles (Park Theatre), Our Town (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, London) The Solid Life of Sugar Water (NT/Graeae Theatre Company), Saint Joan (Donmar Warehouse), Vassa (Almeida), Julius Caesar and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (Sheffield Crucible).
Richard III is directed by Gregory Doran, whose first production as Artistic Director at the RSC was Richard II (2013) where he was reunited with David Tennant in the title role. The acclaimed production transferred to the Barbican Theatre, London and was the first RSC production to be seen live in cinemas around the world. In 2015, his productions of Henry V (2015), Henry IV Parts I & II embarked on an international tour to Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong prior to a month-long residency at New York’s Brooklyn Academy of Music, joined by Richard II. Gregory directed King Lear in 2016 with Antony Sher, a revival of his celebrated puppet Masque Venus and Adonis in 2017 and a ground-breaking production of The Tempest (2016/7) with Simon Russell Beale as Prospero, created with Intel and in association with Imaginarium Studios.
In 2016 Gregory directed Shakespeare Live! broadcast on the BBC and which marked the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. Many RSC alumni joined the line-up including Judi Dench, Paapa Essiedu, Ian McKellen, Helen Mirren and David Tennant, alongside the Company’s President HRH The Prince of Wales. The performance was nominated for a 2017 BAFTA for Best Live Event.
In his 2018 production of Troilus and Cressida, he collaborated with virtuoso percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie in a staging which featured the RSC’s first equally gender-balanced cast in a on the main stage, and the first disabled actor to play a leading Shakespeare role for the Company with deaf actor Charlotte Arrowsmith as Cassandra.
Other productions include the world stage premiere of David Walliams’ The Boy in the Dress in 2019, Death of A Salesman with Antony Sher and Harriet Walter and The Witch of Edmonton with Eileen Atkins in the title role.
Richard III features Set and Costume design by Stephen Brimson Lewis with Lighting by Matt Daw. Music is by Paul Englishby and Sound Design by Claire Windsor. Movement is by Sian Williams with Fights by Rachel Bown-Williams and Ruth Cooper-Brown. The Associate Director is Aaron Parsons.
For further information, please contact:
Kate Evans (Media and Communications Manager), email@example.com
Thursday 23 June – Saturday 8 October 2022
Press Night: Thursday 30 June, 7pm
Directed by Gregory Doran
‘Conscience is but a word that cowards use’
Young Richard of Gloucester uses the chaos of the Wars of the Roses to begin his unscrupulous climb to power. Despite being manifestly unfit to govern, he seizes the crown, as King Richard III. But how does he do it?
How do we let tyrants get away with it? How does it happen? How do they find their way to power? Who enables them? Why do we buy in to it? And how can it be stopped?
Richard III is a darkly comic analysis of the exercise of power. It reminds us both of the dangers of tyranny, and of our duty not to let it go unchecked.
Directed by Gregory Doran and featuring Arthur Hughes as Richard, this is the thrilling climax to Shakespeare’s first great history cycle.
Notes to editors:
The RSC is supported using public funding by Arts Council England
The RSC is generously supported by RSC America
The work of the RSC is supported by the Culture Recovery Fund
Richard III is supported by Season Supporter Charles Holloway
TikTok Tickets sponsored by TikTok
The RSC Acting Companies are generously supported by The Gatsby Charitable Foundation and The Kovner Foundation
Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC)
The Royal Shakespeare Company creates world class theatre, made in Stratford-upon-Avon and shared around the world, performing plays by Shakespeare and his contemporaries, as well as commissioning an exceptionally wide range of original work from contemporary writers. Our purpose is to ensure that Shakespeare is for everyone, and we do that by unlocking the power of his plays and of live performance, throughout the UK and across the world.
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Arts Council England is the national development body for arts and culture across England, working to enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to visual art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2018 and 2022, we will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.