MATHEW BAYNTON TO PLAY BOTTOM IN THE RSC’S A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM
Ghosts co-creator, writer and performer and Wonka actor to appear in A Midsummer Night’s Dream
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM
Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon
Tuesday 30 January – Saturday 30 March 2024
Press night: Tuesday 13 February 2024, 7pm
Box Office: rsc.org.uk, 01789 331111
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Today, the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) announces that Mathew Baynton (Ghosts, Wonka) will play Bottom in a new production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Directed by Eleanor Rhode, the show will run in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre between Tuesday 30 January and Saturday 30 March.
Mathew, known for co-creating, writing and starring as Thomas Thorne in Ghosts (BBC) and soon to be seen as Fickelgruber in the film Wonka, will be making his RSC debut next year as one of Shakespeare’s most well-known comic characters. Mathew is also known for his many roles in Horrible Histories and for co-creating, writing and starring in the BBC’s The Wrong Mans.
Following the critical acclaim of King John (2019), Eleanor Rhode returns to the RSC to direct Mathew in his first on-stage production since 2013.
Further casting to be announced.
Mathew Baynton said about the role: “I really couldn't be more excited to be joining the cast of A Midsummer Night's Dream at the RSC. I've always wanted to be part of a Shakespeare production and I've been hoping to return to the stage for quite some time too, so to be able to combine those two ambitions in one of the great ensemble comedies is a (midsummer night's) dream come true! Eleanor’s vision for the production sounds magical and Bottom is, of course, an absolute treat of a role, so I can't wait to get started.”
Director, Eleanor Rhode said about the casting: “I’m thrilled to be returning to the RSC to direct A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It’s a play that made a big impact on me from a young age, and I’m excited to share it with a new generation of theatre-goers. Mathew Baynton is going to be an incredible Bottom - I've loved his work for years, and so it’s a real joy to be able to collaborate with him on bringing this magical play to life.”
On Midsummer’s Night, the real and fairy worlds collide. Four young lovers, faced with the prospect of unhappy marriage or worse, flee the court of Athens and stumble into an enchanted forest. Nearby, a group of amateur actors rehearse a play to celebrate an upcoming royal wedding.
As these mere mortals cross paths with a warring fairy King and Queen, chaos reigns in the natural world. The lines between reality and illusion start to blur and no-one but mischievous Puck knows what is true and what is magic.
The production will feature Design by Lucy Osborne, Illusion Direction and Design by John Bulleid, Lighting by Matt Daw, Music by Will Gregory, Sound by Pete Malkin, Movement by Annie-Lunnette Deakin-Foster, Video by Nina Dunn and Fights and Intimacy by Rachel Bown-Williams and Ruth Cooper-Brown, with Casting by Matthew Dewsbury CDG.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream will run at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon from 30 January 2024 – 30 March 2024.
For further press information, please contact: Armani Ur-Rub, Senior Publicist, RSC: firstname.lastname@example.org
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon
30 January – 30 March 2024
Captioned: Friday 23 February, 7.15pm
Audio Described: Friday 01 March, 7.15pm (Touch Tour, 5pm)
Audio Described, Captioned and Chilled: Saturday 09 March, 1.15pm (Touch Tour, 11am)
Chilled: Thursday 28 March, 1.15pm
Handheld Captioned: Thursday 21 March, 7.15pm and Saturday 30 March, 1.15pm.
FOR FULL SCHEDULE DETAILS VISIT RSC.ORG.UK
Mathew Baynton – Bottom
This is Mathew’s RSC debut season
Theatre includes: Holes, Horrible Histories: BBC proms 2011, Office Party, Loot
Television includes: A Good Girl's Guide To Murder, Murder Is Easy, Ghosts, Vanity Fair, The Split, Quacks, Inside No. 9, You, Me and the Apocalypse, Yonderland, The Wrong Mans, Peep Show, Horrible Histories, Gavin and Stacey
Film includes: Wonka, Bill, The Falling, Telstar
NOTES TO EDITORS
The RSC is supported using public funding by Arts Council England
The work of the RSC is supported by the Culture Recovery Fund
The RSC is generously supported by RSC America
TikTok £10 Tickets sponsored by TikTok
The RSC Acting Companies are generously supported by The Gatsby Charitable Foundation
New Work at the RSC is generously supported by Hawthornden Foundation and The Drue and H.J. Heinz II Charitable Trust
Assisted Performances at the RSC are kindly supported by The Saintbury Trust and The D'Oyly Carte Charitable Trust
Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC)
The Royal Shakespeare Company creates exceptional theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, London and around the world, performing plays by Shakespeare and his contemporaries, as well as commissioning a wide range of original work from contemporary writers. Our purpose is to ensure that Shakespeare – and theatre as a whole – is for everyone, and we do that by unlocking the power of his plays and live performance, and with our learning and education work throughout the UK and across the world.
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.www.artscouncil.org.uk
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