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Monday, 17 February 2020

Preview: Royal Shakespeare Company at Newcastle Theatre Royal


RSC TO VISIT NEWCASTLE THEATRE ROYAL WITH 3 PRODUCTIONS IN REPERTOIRE FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 2013

The Taming of the Shrew 

The Royal Shakespeare Company will make a triumphant return to Newcastle Theatre Royal with As You Like It, The Taming of the Shrew and Measure for Measure playing Wednesday 11 – Saturday 21 March 2020.
 
As You Like It
The RSC last played a season at the Grey Street venue in 2013 and made a much-welcome return to Newcastle Theatre Royal in 2019 with the tragic love story Romeo & Juliet.

The Taming of the Shrew 
The company will feature 27 actors, who will each appear in two of the three productions.  As You Like It is directed by Kimberley Sykes, The Taming of the Shrew by Justin Audibert, and Measure for Measure by RSC Artistic Director, Gregory Doran.  Set design for all three productions is by Stephen Brimson Lewis, Director of Design for the RSC.

Measure for Measure
The region will be well represented within the cast; Antony Byrne from Whitley Bay as Duke Senior and Duke Frederick in As You Like It and the Duke in Measure for Measure. Durham University graduate Hannah Azuonye will appear in the role of Lady in Measure for Measure and Pedant in The Taming of the Shrew.

The Taming of the Shrew 
Gregory Doran, RSC Artistic Director, said: We have worked hard to assemble a company of actors which reflects the nation in ways it has never done before. Featuring a 50/50 gender balanced ensemble, we have brought together talent from all corners of the United Kingdom, reflecting both the ethnic, geographical and cultural diversity of Britain today and those artists that are underrepresented on our stages. We want to create a season of work which places contemporary audiences at its heart, which speaks directly to the present moment.”
 
Measure for Measure
As You Like It
Erica Whyman, RSC Deputy Artistic Director, added: “We want as many people as possible to see our work, and we really believe Shakespeare should be for everyone, so taking plays around our nation is an essential part of what we do. I’m delighted that our visit to Newcastle Theatre Royal will give audiences the chance to see not just one production, but our wonderful company of actors in three very different plays.”

Measure for Measure
Following her roles in Dido Queen of Carthage, Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra in 2017, Lucy Phelps returns to play Rosalind in Kimberley Sykes’ production of As You Like It. She will be joined by David Ajao as Orlando whose previous productions for the RSC include The Merchant of Venice, Othello and Hecuba.  

The Taming of the Shrew 
The full cast includes Charlotte Arrowsmith (Audrey), Patrick Brennan (Corin), Graeme Brookes (Charles/Forester), Antony Byrne (Duke Senior/Duke Frederick), Richard Clews (Adam), Tom Dawze (William), Amelia Donkor (Silvia), Laura Elsworthy (Phoebe), Sandy Grierson (Touchstone), Emily Johnstone (Amiens/Le Beau), Alex Jones (A Lord), Karina Jones (Martext), Sophie Khan Levy (Celia), Sophie Stanton (Jaques), Aaron Thiara (Jaques de Bois/Dennis) and Leo Wan (Oliver).
 
Measure for Measure
The Taming of the Shrew 
Claire Price plays Petruchia and Joseph Arkley plays Katherine in Justin Audibert’s reimagined staging of The Taming of the Shrew and will do so among a cast where women play the roles written as men, and men play those written as women. 

As You Like It
The full cast includes Charlotte Arrowsmith (Curtis), Hannah Azuonye (Pedant), Melody Brown (Vincentia), Richard Clews (Grumio), James Cooney (Bianco), Amelia Donkor (Hortensia), Laura Elsworthy (Trania), Amanda Harris (Baptista), Emily Johnstone (Lucentia), Alex Jones (Haberdasher), Alexander Mushore (Servant), Michael Patrick (Tailor), Sophie Stanton (Gremia) Aaron Thiara (Servant of Petruchia) Amy Trigg (Biondella) and Leo Wan (Widower).

Measure for Measure
Sandy Grierson, who took on the roles of Faustus and Mephistopheles in Maria Aberg’s 2016 production of Dr Faustus, will play Angelo in Gregory Doran’s staging of Measure for Measure. Following his performance as Antony in Antony and Cleopatra, Antony Byrne returns to play The Duke. They are joined by Lucy Phelps in the role of Isabella.

Measure for Measure
Full casting for Measure for Measure includes David Ajao (Pompey), Joseph Arkley (Lucio), Hannah Azuonye (Lady), Patrick Brennan (Abhorson/Friar Thomas), Graeme Brookes (Mistress Overdone/Barnadine), Melody Brown (Justice), James Cooney (Claudio), Tom Dawze (Froth), Amanda Harris (Provost), Karina Jones (Sister Francisca), Sophie Khan Levy (Mariana), Alexander Mushore (Gent), Michael Patrick (Elbow), Claire Price (Escalus) and Amy Trigg (Juliet).

As You Like It
Tickets & Show Details:
The Royal Shakespeare Company is at Newcastle Theatre Royal Wednesday 11 – Saturday 21 March 2020. Measure for Measure plays Wednesday 11, Saturday 14, Friday 20 & Saturday 21 March; As You Like It plays Thursday 12, Friday 13, Saturday 14 and Thursday 19 March; The Taming of the Shrew plays Tuesday 17, Wednesday 18, Thursday 19 & Saturday 21 March 2020 – see website for full details and performance times.

Tickets from £16.00 can be purchased from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 08448 11 21 21 (Calls cost 7ppm plus your phone company’s access charge) or book online at www.theatreroyal.co.uk.


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