Cast and Creatives

Sharif Afifi headshot
Milliner Sharif Afifi

This is Sharif's RSC debut

Theatre includes: Wonderland, On Your Feet! (UK Tour); We Live in Cairo (American Repertory Theatre); Hadestown (National Theatre); The Toyboy Diaries (Hope Mill Theatre); Cats, Chicago (Royal Caribbean); Rent (Greenwich Theatre)

Film includes: Mamma Mia!...Here We Go Again! 

Marc Antolin headshot
Leo Matienne Marc Antolin

Previous RSC includes: Matilda The Musical

Theatre includes: Camelot (The Watermill Theatre); Romantics Anonymous (Bristol Old Vic); Hedda Gabler (Sherman Theatre); Cry Havoc (Park Theatre); Little Shop of Horrors (Regent's Park Open Air Theatre - Olivier Award nomination for Best Actor in a Musical); Romantics Anonymous, Twelfth Night (Shakespeare’s Globe); The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk (Kneehigh); Peter Pan (National Theatre); The Trial (Young Vic); Taken at Midnight (Theatre Royal Haymarket);  Amadeus, Singin’ in the Rain, The Music Man (Chichester Festival Theatre);  From Here to Eternity (Shaftsbury Theatre); Into the Woods, Hello Dolly! (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre)

Film includes: London Road, Coconut Shy, Love Actually

Television includes: Keeping Faith, More Than Love

Alison Arnopp headshot
Baker Alison Arnopp

Previous RSC includes: The Tempest

Trained: Royal College of Music and the Royal Academy of Music

Theatre includes: Malory Towers (Wise Children); Hair (UK Tour); Club Mex (The Hope Mill Theatre); Eugenius! (The Other Palace); Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Donmar Warehouse); Dusty (Charing Cross Theatre); Bernstein's Mass (Royal Festival Hall); The Little Prince (Abu Dhabi Festival); Tannhaüser (Royal Opera House)

 Alison has written and performed several solo cabaret and comedy shows, including Re:Human (Vaults Festival), and has also performed at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and Edinburgh Fringe with international musical improv troupe, Impromptunes. She is a prizewinner of the international Lotte Lenya Singing Competition.

Renu Arora headshot
Madame LaVaughn Renu Arora

This is Renu's RSC debut

Renu Arora is a British Asian artist who has worked extensively as an actor, singer, writer & composer for over 20 years. She is a regular contributor to BBC Radio and her lockdown inspired work was broadcast in 2020 by BBC Sounds.

Renu has extensive experience at major venues including London’s Southbank Centre, Royal Festival Hall, New Vic Theatre, Bristol Old Vic, Soho Theatre, Leicester Curve and Theatre Royal Stratford East. Renu has also collaborated and worked with prominent theatre companies including Tamasha, Tara Arts and Kali Theatre.

In 2017, she had a life-changing accident, along with a Near-Death Experience (NDE), in which she was hit by a bus and dragged under its wheel, changing the way she works as an artist.

The Burgundy Book, an Arts Council England funded arts podcast based on her accident & NDE, also supported by Graeae, Disability Arts Online and The Space, will be released on Apple podcasts in Spring 2022.

Renu regularly gives talks based on her accident, NDE, and artistic practice and will be a featured panellist at the International Association of Near Death Studies (IANDS) conference in September 2021

Rianna Ash headshot
Swing Rianna Ash

This is Rianna’s RSC debut

Trained: Royal Birmingham Conservatoire (BSA)

Credits include: War Horse (UK & International Tour); A Family Affair (Vienna’s English Theatre); Macbeth (Attic Theatre); Fanny’s First Play (Shaw’s Corner) 

Matt Bateman headshot
Swing Matt Bateman

This is Matt's RSC debut

Trained: The Royal Academy of Music

Credits include: Festival of Remembrance (The Royal Albert Hall); Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (Birmingham Hippodrome & Bradford Alhambra); What the Ladybird Heard, Dickens Abridged (National Tour); Crazy for You (The Watermill Theatre); The Phantom of the Opera (Her Majesty’s Theatre); Sweeney Todd (English Theatre, Frankfurt); Alice in Streamingland (Phoenix Arts Club)

Television includes: The Alan Titchmarsh Show (backing vocals for Maria Friedman)

 

 

Amy Booth-Steel headshot
Narrator Amy Booth-Steel

This is Amy's RSC debut 

Trained: Birmingham School of Acting

Theatre includes: Dick Whittington (National Theatre); #HonestAmy (Pleasance Theatre, Edinburgh Festival); Heathers (West End); As You Like It (Regents Park); The Assassination of Katie Hopkins (Theatr Clwyd); A Pacifist's Guide to the War on Cancer, The Light Princess, She Stoops to Conquer (National Theatre); Anita & Me (Theatre Royal Stratford East & Birmingham Rep); Adrian Mole 13 3/4 (Leicester Curve); Betty Blue Eyes (UK Tour); One Man Two Guvnors (UK & International Tour); Thoroughly Modern Millie (Watermill Theatre); Swallows & Amazons (Bristol Old Vic); Sister Act (London Palladium Original Cast); The Sound of Music (London Palladium)

Television includes: Stath Lets Flats, The Mind of Herbert Clunkerdunk, Call the Midwife, Buffering, Close To Me, Newark Newark, Doctor Who, Zomboat, The Year of the Rabbit, Wannabe, The Windsors, Coronation Street, Doctors

Film includes: Writers Retreat, Kill Keith

Original cast recordings include: The Light Princess, Sister Act

Hannah Brown headshot
Peter's Mum Hannah Brown

This is Hannah's RSC debut 

Theatre includes: The Astonishing Times of Timothy Cratchit (Hope Mill Theatre); Preludes (Southwark Playhouse); Hansel & Gretel (Regent's Park Open Air Theatre) 

Online work includes: On Hostile Ground (Royal and Derngate Theatre) 

 

Michael Carolan headshot
Peter's Dad Michael Carolan

This is Michael's RSC debut 

Theatre includes: Shrek (UK Tour); West Side Story (Salzburg Festival Theatre); Miss Saigon (Prince Edward Theatre); Elf the Musical (UK Tour - original cast); Carousel (Arcola Theatre)

Television includes: Call the Midwife 

Lucca Chadwick-Patel headshot
Fishmonger Lucca Chadwick-Patel

This is Lucca's RSC debut 

Trained: Guildford School of Acting 

Theatre includes: In Pieces (Turbine Theatre); Dogfight (Southwark Playhouse); Carousel: In Concert, The Clockmaker's Daughter (Cadogan Hall)

Stephen John Davis headshot
Doctor Stephen John Davis

This is Stephen's RSC debut 

Theatre includes: Sweeney Todd (The English Theatre Frankfurt and Deutsches Theater, Munich); The Phantom of the Opera, Man of La Mancha, Les Misérables, Mamma Mia, The Pirates of Penzance (West End); ‪Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (RUG); HMS Pinafore (D’Oyly Carte Opera Company); Fiddler on the Roof (Chichester Festival); South Pacific (UK Tour); Company (AAC); Wonderful Town (London Symphony Orchestra, Barbican); Peter Pan (Lincoln Drill Hall); Cinderella (Evolution Pantomimes); Three Phantoms (Ginger Boy/Norwell Lapley); Violet (Young Vic)

Studio recordings include: The Most Happy Fella, HMS Pinafore, Bernstein Dances, Wonderful Town

Radio performances include: Kurt Weill’s Lost in the Stars, Les Miserables

Films include: Arena Tour of ‪Jesus Christ Superstar, Phantom of the Opera 25th Anniversary at the Royal Albert Hall

Zoe Halliday headshot
The Elephant Zoe Halliday

This is Zoe's RSC debut 

Trained: Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Dance School of Scotland

Theatre includes: War Horse (International Tour); Ae Fond Kiss, Shark in the Park (Nonesenseroom); Love of a Nightingale (Dundee Rep); A Midsummer Nights Dream (Bard in the Botanics); Cinderella (Royal Lyceum Edinburgh); King John (Oran Mor); Snow White and the Seven De’ Wharffs, Beauty and the Beast (MacRobert Theatre); Sleeping Beauty (Perth Concert Hall); The Reason I Jump (Movement Director - National Theatre of Scotland)

Film includes: Neds, God Help the Girl 

Zoe was also a dancer for the 2014 Belle and Sebastian tour.

Sam Harrison headshot
Count Quintet Sam Harrison

This is Sam's RSC debut 

Theatre includes: Love Is Only Love (The Other Palace; Chichester Festival Theatre); The Wizard of Oz (Leeds Playhouse); Les Miserables (West End); Eastward, Ho! (Globe); Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (West Yorkshire Playhouse; UK Tour); A Damsel in Distress (Chichester Festival); By Jeeves (Trinity Theatre); The Phantom of the Opera (UK Tour); Salad Days (Riverside Studios; Tete a Tete); Avenue Q (Gielgud Theatre); Crazy for You (London Palladium)

Film includes: Under the Jericho Sun, Foxtrot One One

Melissa James headshot
Gloria Matienne Melissa James

This is Melissa's professional RSC debut

Theatre includes: Gypsy (Royal Exchange Theatre); Wise Children (Old Vic/UK tour); The Two Noble Kinsmen (Shakespeare's Globe); Eugenius! (The Other Palace); One Love: The Bob Marley Musical (Birmingham Rep); Annie Get Your Gun (Sheffield Crucible); A Midsummer Night's Dream (Theatre Royal Bath); The Bodyguard, Cats (UK tour); Guys and Dolls (Chichester Festival Theatre); West Side Story (RSC/Sage, Gateshead)

Television includes: Hard Cell, Father Brown, Coronation Street, The Emily Atack Show, The Split, Training Days, Ransom, Dead Pixels, Waffle the Wonderdog, Thanks for the Memories, Holby City, Silent Witness, WPC 56, Doctors

Film includes: Death on the Nile

Lauren Jones headshot
Lisette Lauren Jones

This is Lauren's RSC debut

Trained: ArtsEd (winner of Exceptional Scholar Award)

Theatre includes: A Midsummer Night's Dream (Curve Theatre)

Credits while training: Ragtime, The Wedding Singer, She Loves Me

Lauren has been the recipient of an Ian Fleming Musical Theatre Award.

 

Forbes Masson black and white headshot
Police Chief Forbes Masson

Previous RSC includes: The Boy in the Dress, As You Like It, Hamlet, Henry IV Part 2, Henry VI, Macbeth, Richard II, Richard III, The Comedy of Errors, Twelfth Night, Henry V, Morte D'Arthur, Romeo and Juliet, The Grain Store, The Pilate Workshop

Theatre includes: Bartholomew Fair, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Boudica (Shakespeare's Globe); Summer and Smoke (Duke of York's, Almeida); Little Shop of Horrors (Regent's Open Air Theatre); Big Fish (The Other Palace); Terror, Dumbstruck (Lyric Hammersmith); Travesties (Menier Chocolate Factory); A Midsummer Night's Dream (Theatre Royal, Bath); Doctor Faustus (Duke of York's); Mr Footes Other Leg (Theatre Royal Haymarket, Hampstead Theatre); The Ruling Class, Richard III, Macbeth (Trafalgar Studios); The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (Kensington Gardens); Crackers (Belgrade Theatre, Coventry); King Lear (Liverpool Playhouse, Young Vic); The Breathing House, Art, Stiff, Much Ado About Nothing (Royal Lyceum); Endgame, The Trick is to Keep Breathing, The Real Wurld, Cinzano (Tron Theatre); The Life of Stuff (Donmar Warehouse); Loose Ends (Traverse); Laurel and Hardy (Assembly Edinburgh); Great Expectations (Citizens Theatre, Glasgow)

Television includes: Crime, Father Brown, Catastrophe, Doctors, Shetland, Dead Boss, No Holds Barred, Fun at the Funeral Parlour, Monarch of the Glen, EastEnders, Supergirly, A Young Person's Guide to Becoming a Rock Star, Is It Bill Bailey, The Creatives, Rab C. Nesbitt, Hamish Macbeth, The High Life, Paris, Red Dwarf, Taggart, My Dead Dad

Forbes is an RSC Associate Artist and recently finished work on the feature The Road Dance.

Wela Mbusi headshot
The Elephant Wela Mbusi

Previous RSC includes: Michael Boyd's Histories Cycle

Trained: Guildhall School of Music and Drama

Theatre includes: My Brilliant Friend (National Theatre); Measure for Measure (AFTLS); Running Wild (UK Tour); Cymbeline (South Carolina Shakespeare Company); By the Way Meet Vera Stark, A Christmas Carol, Clyborne Park (Trustus Theatre/USA); Sick (Theatre 503); Father and Son (Soho Theatre); Down by the Greenwood (Royal Opera House); A Taste of Honey (Salisbury Playhouse); Effie May (Oval Theatre); Who Killed Mr Drum (Riverside Studios); Whose Life is it Anyway (Comedy Theatre)

Television and film includes: Holby City, Never Not Love You, The Bakers Abjection

Wela is currently commissioned by Home Theatre Manchester for ‘Hear Me Now Monologues’ 2021 and was longlisted for the 2020 Alfred Fagon Award for A Far Cry From Home.

Mark Meadows headshot
Vilna Lutz Mark Meadows

This is Mark's RSC debut

Trained: Bristol Old Vic Theatre School

Theatre includes: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Tobacco Factory); A Woman of No Importance (UK Tour); Orpheus Descending (Menier Chocolate Factory); Flowers for Mrs Harris (Sheffield Crucible; Chichester Festival Theatre); Quiz, 5/11 (Chichester Festival Theatre; Noel Coward Theatre); Tartuffe (Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory); The Magna Carta Plays, A Man of No ImportanceThe SpireThe Herbal Bed, Epsom Downs(Salisbury Playhouse); King John (Shakespeare’s Globe); Urinetown (St James); The Thrill of Love (New Vic, Stoke); Betty Blue Eyes (Novello Theatre); Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park); King Lear, Six Pictures of Lee Miller (Minerva Theatre, Chichester); Mary Poppins (Prince Edward Theatre); High Society (Sheffield Crucible); The Tempest (Theatre Royal Bath); Look Back in Anger, A Street Car Named Desire, Up The Feeder…Aeroplane Bones (Bristol Old Vic); Goodbye Barcelona (Arcola Theatre); The Three Musketeers (Rose Theatre, Kingston); The Giant (Hampstead Theatre); Longitude (Greenwich Theatre); The Thrill of Love (New Vic, Stoke and Stephen Joseph, Scarborough); The Emperor & The Nightingale (Watermill Theatre); Wonderful Town (Grange Park Opera)

Television and film includes: McDonald & Dodds, Kiri, EastEnders, Casualty, Letters From Baghdad, Doctors, Nicholas Nickleby, High Heels & Lowlifes

Radio includes: Poetry Please; Costing The Earth; The Good Companions; Company; Pal Joey; The Worst Journey in the World; Torchwood - Lost Souls; If Not Now, When?; Abel’s Law; The Von Trapps & Me; Tommy the Voice; I Believe I Have Genius; The Quest; Making Hay

Mark is a former Musical Director of The Swingle Singers and has various theatre and recording credits as composer and arranger.

Suzanne Nixon headshot
The Elephant Suzanne Nixon

This is Suzanne's RSC debut 

Theatre includes: War Horse (National Theatre); The Bear (Pins and Needles); Treasure Island (Birmingham Rep); Big Red Bath, The Snow Dog (Full House)

Puppetry direction and consultancy includes: The Bear (Pins and Needles); Plastic Ocean (Circo Rum Ba Ba); Jack and the Beanstalk, Lost Property, Little Darling (Full House)

Su is an actress, puppeteer and physical performer, with over ten years' experience with circus theatre troupe Circo Rum Ba Ba. She is also an associate artist for Full House Theatre company, and has worked as a puppeteer on a range of advertising campaigns.

Miriam Nyarko headshot
Adele Miriam Nyarko

Previous RSC includes: The Boy in the Dress, Matilda The Musical

Trained: Susi Earnshaw Theatre School, London

Theatre includes: Our Town (Regent's Park Open Air Theatre); Charlie & the Chocolate Factory (Theatre Royal); The Lion King (Lyceum Theatre)

Television includes: Almost Never, The Voice Kids, Blue Peter, Saturday Mash Up

Workshops include: Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey 

Cast recordings include: The Boy in the Dress

Alastair Parker headshot
Magician Alastair Parker

Previous RSC includes: Matilda The Musical

Theatre includes: A Christmas Carol (Old Vic Theatre); Treasure Island, National Theatre: 50 Years On Stage, People, The Merchant of Venice, Honk!, The Villains Opera (National Theatre); Jerry Springer - The Opera (National Theatre, Cambridge Theatre, Battersea Arts Centre); Bed & Sofa (Finborough Theatre); BBC Proms - Sondheim at 80 (Royal Albert Hall); The Secret Garden, Alice in Wonderland (West Yorkshire Playhouse); Silk (Orange Tree Theatre); Wizard of Oz, The Glee Club (New Vic Theatre); Two Women for One Ghost, Cymbeline, Twelfth Night, HMS Pinafore (Regent's Park Open Air Theatre); Spittin’ Distance, Jonah Boy, Beginners Guide to Cybershopping (Stephen Joseph Theatre); Is there Life after High School (The Bridewell Theatre); Oklahoma (Perth Theatre); Oliver (London Palladium)

Television includes: The Witcher, Whitstable Pearl, Carnival Row, I Hate Suzie, Doctor Who, BBC Proms - Sondheim at 80, Sinchronicity, White Teeth, The Vice, Spooks

Film includes: London Road, Last Orders, The Hitman & Her, A Quiet Courage, The Merchant of Venice, Hell for Leather

 

Wendy Somerville headshot
Mrs Griswald Wendy Somerville

This is Wendy's RSC debut 

Theatre includes: Girl from the North Country (Gielgud Theatre, London and Royal Alexandra Theatre, Toronto); Local Hero (Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh); School of Rock (Gillian Lynne Theatre); The 306: Day (National Theatre of Scotland / Perth Theatre / Stellar Quines); The Threepenny Opera (National Theatre); Billy Elliot (Victoria Palace Theatre); Hairspray (Shaftesbury Theatre, London and UK and Ireland Tour); Sweeney Todd (Chichester Festival and Adelphi Theatre, London); Les Miserables (Queen’s Theatre); Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty (Qdos)

Television includes: Billy Elliot the Musical LiveLes Miserables (Classical Brit Awards 2011, Royal Variety Performance and 25th Anniversary Concert 2010, Windsor – The Queen’s Castle); Hairspray (Royal Variety Performance 2007)

Radio includes: Les Miserables 21st Birthday Concert

 

Summer Strallen headshot
Countess Quintet Summer Strallen

This is Summer's RSC debut 

Theatre includes: What’s in a Name (UK Tour); Intra Muros (Park Theatre); Young Frankenstein (Garrick Theatre); Hysteria (London Classic Theatre Tour); A Damsel in Distress (Chichester Festival Theatre); Ultimate Broadway (Shanghai Culture Square Theatre); Flying Into Daylight (Live Theatre, Newcastle); Life of the Party (Menier Chocolate Factory); Top Hat (Aldwych Theatre and National Tour); Love Never Dies (Adelphi Theatre); Company (Queens Theatre); Paradise Moscow (Opera North); The Sound of Music, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (London Palladium); The Drowsy Chaperone (Novello Theatre); Dick Whittington (Barbican Theatre); The Boyfriend, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park); Guys and Dolls (Piccadilly Theatre); Cats (New London Theatre and National Tour); Fosse (European Tour); Anything Goes (Grange Park Opera); Scrooge (Dominion Theatre); The Sound of Music (Sadler’s Wells)

Television and film includes: Death on the Nile, The 73rd Annual Tony Awards, Five-A-Side, Casualty, Doctors, The Land Girls, Hotel Babylon, Beyond the Sea, Hollyoaks

Recordings include: Young Frankenstein, Top Hat, Love Never Dies 

Mandi Symonds headshot
Sister Marie Mandi Symonds

This is Mandi's RSC debut 

Trained: Guildhall School of Music and Drama

Theatre includes: Doctor Faustus, Dark Night of the Soul (Shakespeare’s Globe); 1984 (Almeida Theatre, Playhouse Theatre West End, No.1 UK Tour, International/ US Tour); Night Must Fall (No.1 UK Tour); A Streetcar Named Desire (Liverpool Playhouse); Hot Mikado, Rumpy Pumpy (The Landor Theatre); The Knitting Circle (Soho Theatre); Amazonia, Midnight Hour (Young Vic); Menopause – the Musical (Shaw Theatre); Carrie’s War (West End / Sadler’s Wells); Mary Poppins (Prince Edward); Thatcher’s Women (Paines Plough, Tricycle); The Miracle Plays (Oxford Stage Company); The Mystery Plays (Liverpool Playhouse / St Bartholomew’s Church); One Mo’ Time, Godspell (Barbican); Zipp! (Duchess Theatre); The Men I’ve Had (Young Vic / Jermyn Street); Peer Gynt, Romeo and Juliet (National Theatre); Anansi Steals the Wind (Talawa Theatre / Southbank Centre / Bloomsbury); As You Like It (Theatre Royal Bath / US Tour); Simply Heavenly (Trafalgar Studios); Twelfth Night – the Musical (Edinburgh Festival); Pinocchio (Stratford East); ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore (Talawa Theatre); The Threepenny Opera (Bloomsbury); Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare in the Park)

Television includes: The Wheel of Time, Casualty, Doctors, Scrubbers, Slags, Just Sex, Dream Stuffing, Sea of Souls, Smack the Pony, Gems, Night and Day, Crown Prosecutor, Call Me Mister, Paradise Park

Radio includes: Brief Lives, Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me, Something To Think About, Climbing in the Dark, Pictures in Your Mind, The Song Tree

Chrystine Symone headshot
Lamplighter Chrystine Symone

This is Chrystine's RSC debut 

Trained: Royal Academy of Music

Theatre includes: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat (Adelphi Theatre); Parade (NYMT); The Best of the West End 2020 (Royal Albert Hall)

Television includes: Top Boy, Children in Need

 

Jack Wolfe headshot
Peter Duchene Jack Wolfe

This is Jack's RSC debut

Trained: Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts

Theatre includes: The Snow Queen (Rose Theatre, Kingston); The Musician (The Belfast Ensemble); Sweeney Todd (Lyric Theatre, Belfast); Pinocchio (National Theatre); The Braille Legacy (Charing Cross Theatre)

Television includes: Inside No. 9, The Witcher, Father Brown, Hetty Feather

Jack recently finished filming as the lead role for the feature film The Magic Flute, due for release next year.

  • Royal Shakespeare Theatre

    Stratford-upon-Avon

    Until 1 Jan 2022 Book Tickets
  • Running time:

    2 hrs 45 mins (including a 20 mins interval)

Next performance:

28 October, 1:15PM

Royal Shakespeare Theatre
Stratford-upon-Avon

Find out more about the cast and creative team for The Magician's Elephant.