Latest Press Releases



HENRY VI: REBELLION, 1 April-28 May 2022
Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon,
Directed by Owen Horsley

Over 70 adult non-professional performers from England will have the opportunity to take to the stage of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon this Spring, with the premiere of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s epic new production of Henry VI: Rebellion.

The production, which features a cast of 118 people in total, opened on Friday 1 April with non-professional adult participants from Bradford (1 April) and Nottingham (2 April) taking up the roles of the people of England for the show’s first two public performances.

Among the cast of Henry VI: Rebellion are 25 professional actors who will be joined by 93 members of the Royal Shakespeare Community gathered from across England, including 74 adults from Blackpool, Bradford, Canterbury, Cornwall, Norwich and Nottingham who are part of the RSC’s Shakespeare Nation adult community participation programme, and 19 young performers aged 13-17 from the RSC’s Next Generation Act young acting company.

Henry VIRebellion, a fresh new take on Henry VI: Part Two, hurtles through one of the most turbulent periods in English history, asking the question: can the people ever really decide their own future?

Ian Wainwright, RSC Learning National Partnerships Producer, said:

“Last week over 70 members of our adult community participation programme, Shakespeare Nation, gathered together on the stage of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre to take part in technical rehearsals for Henry VI: Rebellion.  Hailing from 6 English towns and cities these are people from all walks of life, most of whom have little or no experience of Shakespeare either as a performer or theatre-goer.  It has been fantastic to see their confidence develop whilst gaining a passion for Shakespeare. Each group will take part in up to five performances of the play, and I can’t wait to see them take to the stage between now and June.”

Owen Horsley, Director of Henry VI: Rebellion, said:

“Out of the 37 plays in the canon Henry VI Part Two – or as we are calling it, Henry VI: Rebellion – has more characters than any other play. There are 85 characters on the cast list, which may explain why these plays are rarely done. One of the reasons for this wide array of characters is a series of scenes that Shakespeare writes concerning the people of England, who in various ways interact with the royal family.

“This gave us an idea! For many years the RSC has built incredible relationships across the UK with partner theatres through Shakespeare Nation and our youth programme, Next Generation Act. After 18 months of developing these links online this production seemed the perfect opportunity to be ambitious. So, for the people of England, we have cast the people of England. This is an extremely exciting project as it allows this history play, written over 400 years ago, to respond directly to the state of the nation – and at points put nearly 50 people on the RSC stage.

The professional cast for Henry VI: Rebellion includes: Oliver Alvin-Wilson (York), Lucy Benjamin (Eleanor, Duchess of Gloucester), Richard Cant (Gloucester/Lord Saye), Daniel J Carver (Clifford/Horner), Angelina Chudi (Hume), Paola Dionisotti (Winchester/Humphrey), Felixe Forde (Bevis), Minnie Gale (Margaret), Ashley D Gayle (Smith), Conor Glean (Dick), Ben Hall (Suffolk), Jack Humphrey (Clerk), Nicholas Karimi (Warwick), Al Maxwell (Bolingbroke/ Holland), Georgia-Mae Myers (Margaret Jourdain), Peter Moreton (Salisbury), Sophia Papadopoulos (Suffolk’s Messenger), Mark Quartley (Henry VI), Aaron Sidwell (Jack Cade), Yasmin Taheri (Neighbour), John Tate (Captain/Stafford), Ibraheem Toure (Whitmore), Emma Tracey (Spirit), Daniel Ward (Buckingham) and Benjamin Westerby (Somerset).

For more information please contact: Dean Asker, Senior Media Relations Officer,  0778 9937759

Shakespeare Nation adult community participation group performance dates and participant names (in performance order)

BRADFORD working with The Alhambra Theatre, Bradford

Group participants: Rachel Brewin, Angela Buffham-Wheeler, Bradley Cook-Pattison, Kelly Harris, Ben Hopwood, Georgina Jovanovic, Elizabeth Lancaster, Ron Norman, Anthony Priestley, Diana Reed, Qaraman Saidzada and Corin Ward

Friday 1 April, 7.15pm (Preview)
Friday 15 April, 7.15pm (Preview)
Saturday 16 April, 1.15pm (Preview)

NOTTINGHAM working with Theatre Royal and Royal Concert Hall Nottingham

Group participants: Neil Brocklehurst, Julieanne Ford, Gavin Gordon, Anne Jennings, Yasmin Khan, Sally Maddison, Kathryn McAuley, John Merchant, Paul Robinson, Penny Shields, Diana Sule and Becky Valentine

Saturday 2 April, 7.15pm (Preview)
Tuesday 19 April, 7.15pm (Preview)
Wednesday 20 April, 1pm (Press Performance)
Friday 22 April, 7.15pm
Saturday 23 April, 1.15pm

CORNWALL working with Hall for Cornwall

Group participants: Darcey Ball, Kate Barden, Simon Bennett, Adam Bowkett, Lily Burton, Tori Cannell, Lucie Dowling, Jonathan Groves, Guy Hanson, Emily Harrison, Kate Maciver-Redwood and  Rosie Maciver-Redwood 

Wednesday 27 April, 7.15pm
Thursday 28 April, 1.15pm (Chilled Performance)
Saturday 30 April, 1.15pm (Audio Described, Captioned and Chilled)
Saturday 7 May, 1.15pm
Saturday 7 May, 7.15pm

NORWICH working with Norwich Theatre

Group participants: Saint Ananda, Ed Cairns, Georgia Dimopoulou, David Fung, Etta Geras, Olli Gillo, Gina Irving, Mark Markham, Julian Newton, Aamer Raza, Helen Simpson, Katie Smith, Helen Wells and Jaime Willimott

Wednesday 11 May, 7.15pm
Thursday 12 May, 1.15pm
Friday 13 May, 7.15pm
Saturday 14 May, 1.15pm

CANTERBURY working with The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury

Group participants: Philip Baston, Debbie Christie, Caroline Clark, Sasha Douglas, Graeme Forbes, Matilda Jovanovic, Mary Onions, Wayne Rhodes, Chrissy Swain, Sarah Thurstan, Harrison Todd and Lynne Wright

Wednesday 18 May, 7.15pm
Thursday 19 May, 1.15pm
Friday 20 May, 7.15pm

BLACKPOOL working with The Grand Theatre, Blackpool

Group participants: Philip Avenell, Stephen Coughlan, Liz Curran, Stephen Foster, Seamus Graeme, Beccy Hands, Ross Hewitt, Mickey Horrocks, Roger Lloyd Jones, Wendy Stevenson, Martyn Woodcock and Jeananne Young

Wednesday 25 May, 7.15pm
Thursday 26 May, 1.15pm (Audio Described and Captioned)
Friday 27 May, 7.15pm (BSL Signed)
Saturday 28 May, 1.15pm (Final Performance)

Notes to editors:

BOX OFFICE:, 01789 331111

Henry VI: Rebellion
Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon
Directed by Owen Horsley. Season consultant director, Gregory Doran.
1 April – 28 May 2022
Press performance, 1pm, Wednesday 20 April 2022

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

Henry VI: Rebellion is supported by RSC Production Circle Members Susan Tomasky and Ronald J Ungvarsky, and Marcia Whitaker

Royal Shakespeare Theatre productions sponsored by Darwin Escapes

The RSC Acting Companies are generously supported by The Gatsby Charitable Foundation and The Kovner Foundation.

Next Generation Act Company bursary places are generously supported by The Leverhulme Trust Arts Scholarship

RSC Next Generation is generously supported by the Allan and Nesta Ferguson Charitable Trust, Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation, John S Cohen Foundation and Noel Coward Foundation

The Shakespeare Nation adult engagement work is generously supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation

The Oakley Charitable Trust: Supporting the involvement of Next Generation Act and Shakespeare Nation in Henry VI: Rebellion

The work of the RSC Learning and National Partnerships is generously supported by Paul Hamlyn Foundation, The Clore Duffield Foundation, The 29th May 1961 Charitable Trust, GRoW@Annenberg, The Polonsky Foundation, Stratford Town Trust, The Goldsmiths’ Company Charity, Teale Charitable Trust, The Grimmitt Trust and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

The RSC’s partner theatres are:

The Grand Theatre, Blackpool; The Alhambra Theatre, Bradford; The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury; Hall for Cornwall; Hull Truck Theatre, Hull; Intermission Youth, London; New Vic Theatre, Stoke on Trent; Northern Stage, Newcastle; Theatre Royal & Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham; Norwich Theatre; Silhouette Youth Theatre; York Theatre Royal, York.

Arts Council England

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.

Darwin Escapes

Darwin Escapes currently operate 24 luxurious holiday resorts and 3 golf courses across the UK offering holiday breaks and holiday home ownership. A wide variety of holiday styles are accommodated, ranging from romantic boutique escapes to luxury lodge retreats and traditional family focused holiday parks, all of which boast state-of-the-art and diverse accommodation and on-site facilities including spas, gyms, restaurants and activities.

The company strives to provide the best possible holiday experience for holiday makers and holiday home owners with resorts in stunning UK locations with accommodation and facilities that rival those of 5 star hotels.

For further information about Darwin Escapes and its numerous holiday destinations and facilities visit or follow them on Twitter or Facebook: @DarwinEscapes

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.

We believe everybody’s life is enriched by culture and creativity. We have trained generations of the very best theatre makers and we continue to nurture the talent of the future. Our transformative Learning Programmes reach over half a million young people and adults each year, and through our Placemaking and Public Programme we create projects with and for communities who have not historically engaged with our work. We are a leader in creative immersive technologies and digital development.

We have a proud record of innovation, diversity and excellence on stage and are determined to grasp the opportunity to become an even more inclusive, progressive, relevant and ambitious organisation.

We are committed to being a teaching and learning theatre – in which we create world class theatre for, with and by audiences and theatre makers of all ages. We provide training for emerging and established theatre makers and arts professionals, for teachers and for young people. We share learning formally and informally. We embed training and research across our company, work and processes.

We recognise the climate emergency and work hard to embed environmental sustainability into our operations, creative work and business practice, making a commitment to continually reduce our carbon footprint.

Keep Your RSC supports our mission to create theatre at its best, unlocking Shakespeare and transforming lives. Thousands of generous audience members, trusts and foundations and partners supported Keep Your RSC in 2020 and, alongside a £19.4 million loan from the Culture Recovery Fund, we are thrilled to be welcoming audiences back. It will take time to recover, to reopen all our theatres, and many years to repay the loan and the support and generosity of our audiences is more important than ever. Please donate at



You might also like