RSC ANNOUNCES FULL CASTING FOR MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING DIRECTED BY ROY ALEXANDER WEISE
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The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) today announces full casting as rehearsals begin for the new production of Much Ado About Nothing directed by Roy Alexander Weise. The show will run in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre from 4 February to 12 March 2022, with press night on Tuesday 15 February 2022.
Joining Michael Balogun and Akiya Henry, who will play Benedick and Beatrice, are Toyin Ayedun-Alase (Verges), Micah Balfour (Don John), Rebecca Banatvala (Seacole), Michael Bartelle (Sexton), Mensah Bediako (Antonio), Christelle Elwin (Messenger), DK Fashola (Friar), Kevin N Golding (Leonato), Karen Henthorn (Dogberry), Aruna Jalloh (Oatcake), Sapphire Joy (Margaret), Curtis Kemlo (Borachio), Denver-Isaac Kwashe (Conrade), Mohammed Mansaray (Claudio), Taya Ming (Hero), Ann Ogbomo (Don Pedra), Luke Wilson (Balthasar) and Adeola Yemitan (Ursula).
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The production will feature Set Design by Jemima Robinson, Lighting Design by Azusa Ono, Sound Design by Claire Windsor, Dramaturgy by Anthony Simpson-Pike and Movement Direction by DK Fashola. Costume Design is by Melissa Simon-Hartman; London-born artist, couture fashion designer, and owner of Simon-Hartman London, whose West African inspired designs recently featured in the videos for 'Mood 4 Eva' and 'My Power' as part of Beyonce’s 2020 visual album: Black Is King.
The production will also feature an original score by Nigerian-born British guitarist and MOBO award-nominated musician Femi Temowo whose past collaborators include Amy Winehouse, Dee Dee Bridgewater, The Roots and Soweto Kinch.
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
The RSC Acting Companies are generously supported by The Gatsby Charitable Foundation and The Kovner Foundation.
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
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.
In September 2021, the RSC announced that Gregory Doran will be taking a period of compassionate leave as Artistic Director of the RSC to care for his husband, Sir Antony Sher. Antony has a long and celebrated association with the Company and is an RSC Honorary Associate Artist.
During this period RSC Deputy Artistic Director, Erica Whyman, will take on the role of Acting Artistic Director until Gregory’s return. This arrangement has been agreed by the RSC Board, and Erica will have overall artistic responsibility as well as wider organisational accountability which she will share with Catherine Mallyon, Executive Director.
Erica has been Deputy Artistic Director since 2012 working alongside Gregory and the Artistic Programming Team on all aspects of our activity, with specific responsibilities for our approach to inclusion, new writing and The Other Place. This work will continue in Gregory’s absence.
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 rsc.org.uk/donate