Latest Press Releases





By William Shakespeare

Directed by Melly Still

Royal Shakespeare Theatre: 29 April 2016 – 12 August 2016

Press night: Tuesday 10 May 2016



By William Shakespeare

Directed by Gregory Doran

Royal Shakespeare Theatre: 20 August 2016 – 15 October 2016

Press night: Thursday 1 September 2016


The cross-cast company is announced for the Royal Shakespeare Company’s (RSC) productions of Cymbeline and King Lear in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. Gillian Bevan, known for her role in Channel 4 comedy Teachers, will play the British ruler Cymbeline, directed by Melly StillAntony Sher takes on the title role in Gregory Doran’s production of King Lear.

Bevan will be the first woman to take on the role of Cymbeline for the RSC, and will do so among a cast which sees many roles traditionally played by men performed by women: Doreene Blackstock will play Cornelius,Natalie Simpson will play Guiderius and Kelly Williams will play Pisanio.

Bethan Cullinane, who took on the roles of Desdemona, Cordelia, the Fool and Jessica for the Globe Theatre, will play Innogen. Hiran Abeysekera, who will play Puck in Russell T Davies’ TV adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, to be broadcast on the BBC later this year, plays Posthumus. Oliver Johnstone, who recently featured in the Donmar Warehouse’s 2015 production of Teddy Ferrara, will play Iachimo.

Following his performance as Willy Loman in Arthur Miller’s great 20th century American tragedy Death of a SalesmanAntony Sher returns to play King Lear, one of the greatest parts written by Shakespeare. RSC Associate Artist David Troughton, who was last at the RSC playing the lead in The Shoemaker’s Holiday(2014/15)will play Gloucester. The production is directed by RSC Artistic Director Gregory Doran.

Natalie Simpson makes her RSC debut as Cordelia, having just played Juliet in the Young Vic’s Measure for Measure (2015). Other cast members from Doran’s ‘King and Country’ cycle of history plays, Antony Byrneand Nia Gwynne, will play Kent and Goneril. Byrne is currently in Jericho on ITV has recently featured in Law and Order: UK. Gwynne is known for her role as Gail in the BAFTA- and BIFA-winning film Pride.

The cast for Cymbeline includes: Hiran Abeysekera (Posthumus), Romayne Andrews (Lord 1/ Dutchman / Caius’ attendant / Captain), Gillian Bevan (Cymbeline), Doreene Blackstock (Cornelius / Soldier / Gentlewoman), Eke Chukwu (Caius Lucius), James Clyde (Prince), James Cooney (Arviragus), Bethan Cullinane (Innogen), Marième Diouf (Helen / British attendant / Soldier), Kevin N Golding (Soldier / Tribune), Marcus Griffiths (Cloten), Oliver Johnstone (Iachimo), Byron Mondahl (Philario / Soldier), Theo Ogundipe (Lord 2 / Spaniard / Soldier), Natalie Simpson (Guiderius), Graham Turner (Belarius), Temi Wilkey (Philharmonius / Gentlewoman 2) and Kelly Williams (Pisanio).

The cast of King Lear includes: Romayne Andrews (Soldier), Antony Byrne (Kent), Eke Chukwu (Soldier), James Clyde (Cornwall), James Cooney (Soldier), Bethan Cullinane (Lady), Marième Diouf (Lady), Paapa Essiedu (Edmund), Kevin N Golding (Curan), Marcus Griffiths (France), Nia Gwynne (Goneril), Oliver Johnstone (Edgar), Byron Mondahl (Oswald), Theo Ogundipe (Burgundy), Antony Sher (King Lear), Natalie Simpson (Cordelia), Clarence Smith (Albany), David Troughton (Gloucester), Graham Turner (Fool), Ewart James Walters (Old Man), Kelly Williams (Regan).

Cymbeline is designed by Anna Fleischle with music by Dave Price and lighting by Philip Gladwell.

King Lear is designed by Niki Turner, with further creative roles to be announced.


Notes to Editors

For further information, please contact 01789 412622.

For press tickets please contact 01789 412660

To book tickets call 01789 403493 or online at 



The RSC Acting Companies are generously supported by THE GATSBY CHARITABLE FOUNDATION and THE KOVNER FOUNDATION

The BP £5 ticket scheme and BP Shakespeare Pass for 16 – 25 year olds gives access to £5 tickets for all RSC productions in Stratford-upon-Avon, London or on tour. Tickets can be booked in advance on the phone, online or in person with some availability for sale on the day of the performance.


Cymbeline Production Access

Saturday 4 June 2016, 1.15pm – Captioned performance

Saturday 23 July 2016, 1.15pm – Audio Described performance

Thursday 11 August 2016, 7.15pm – Audio Described performance


King Lear Production Access Information:

Thursday 15 September, matinee – Captioned performance

Saturday 17 September, matinee – Audio Described performance

Friday 23 September – Captioned performance

Thursday 6 October, matinee – Audio Described performance


The Royal Shakespeare Company

The Royal Shakespeare Company creates theatre at its best, made in Stratford-upon-Avon and shared around the world.

Everyone at the RSC - from actors to armourers, musicians to technicians - plays a part in creating the world you see on stage. All our productions begin life at our Stratford workshops and theatres and we bring them to the widest possible audience through our touring, residencies, live broadcasts and online activity. So wherever you experience the RSC, you experience work made in Shakespeare’s home town.

We encourage everyone to enjoy a lifelong relationship with Shakespeare and live theatre.  We produce an inspirational artistic programme each year, setting Shakespeare in context, alongside the work of his contemporaries and today’s writers.  We have trained generations of the very best theatre makers and we continue to nurture the talent of the future. We reach 530,000 children and young people annually through our education work, transforming their experiences in the classroom, in performance and online. 

Registered charity no. 212481


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