The beginning of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s next long ensemble is set to start with The Winter’s Tale.
Working in an ensemble means that the cast and crew will work together for two and a half years.
In The Winter’s Tale Shakespeare strips away the trappings of a man’s success in a bewitching exploration of what constitutes true happiness.
Newly appointed Associate Director David Farr returns to the RSC to direct the play. His previous work for the company includes: Julius Caesar (2004) and Coriolanus (2003). Farr was Artistic Director of the Lyric Hammersmith and adapted the UN Inspector for the National Theatre.
This will be the first show to be performed by the 2009/10 long ensemble and the same company of actors will go on to build a repertoire over the next two and a half years.
David Farr said: “I’m thrilled to be returning to the RSC as Associate Director. I’d love to bring the sense of adventure that I’ve been enjoying at the Lyric to influence Michael Boyd’s wonderfully extrovert vision. And it’s great to be working on Shakespeare again after such happy experiences on Julius Caesar and Coriolanus.”
Farr added: “It’s great to be working again with Greg Hicks (who plays Leontes) after our collaboration on Coriolanus and Tamburlaine.”
Greg Hicks has played numerous roles for the RSC, including Coriolanus for David Farr in 2003 in Stratford and on tour, Macbeth in Dominic Cooke’s production in 2004, a memorable Ghost of Old Hamlet in Michael Boyd’s production with Toby Stephens, Dr Caius in Rachel Kavanaugh’s The Merry Wives of Winsor, Agamemnon and Priam in John Barton’s adaptation of Tantalus directed by Peter and Edward Hall in 2000 and Brutus in Ed Hall’s Julius Caesar in 2002.
His other theatre credits include: Small Craft Warnings and An Enemy of the People at the Arcola Theatre, the title role in Don Quixote at West Yorkshire Playhouse, Roy in Angels in America at the Lyric Hammersmith, Tamburlaine in Tamburlaine the Great at the Barbican and Jesus in Steven Berkoff’s The Messiah. Amongst his TV credits are: Casualty, Trial and Retribution and Waking the Dead.
Darrell D’Silva plays Polixenes with Noma Dumezweni as Paulina, Kelly Hunter as Hermione, Tunji Kasim as Florizel and Samantha Young as Perdita.
Darrell D’Silva’s recent RSC work includes Polymester and Odysseuss in Tony Harrison’s adaptation of Hecuba (2005) and Bottom in Richard Jones’ production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 2002. His 1997/8 season for the RSC includes: Camino Real, Spanish Tragedy, Henry VIII, Troilus and Cressida, A Month in the Country and the title role in Doctor Faustus. Amongst his other theatre work are: Anthony Neilson’s The Lying Kind (Royal Court Theatre), Further than the Furthest Thing, Tales from the Vienna Woods, Royal Hunt of the Sun and The Rose Tattoo directed by Stephen Pimlott and Nicholas Hytner (all for the National Theatre). His numerous television credits includes A Very British Sex Scandal, Poppy Shakespeare, Saddam’s Tribe and Spooks.
Noma Dumezweni is on the RSC board. Her last production for the RSC was as Grace Mugabe in Breakfast with Mugabe in 2006. Other RSC credits include: Charmian in Antony and Cleopatra and Ursula in Much Ado about Nothing in 2002. She won an Olivier Award in 2006 for her role as Ruth in A Raisin in the Sun at the Young Vic and recently played the producer in Six Characters in Search of An Author in Chichester. Her recent television work includes: Captain Magambo in Doctor Who and Fallout for Channel 4. Her films include Dirty Pretty Things and the film version of Macbeth directed by Gregory Doran.
Tunji Kasim makes his professional RSC debut. His credits include: Oshoosi in The Brother’s Size at the Young Vic and on tour in Europe, The Cracks in my Skin for the Royal Exchange in Manchester, Big White Fog for the Almeida, and Joe in Nearly Famous on television. He appeared in the Royal Scottish Academy/RSC production of All’s Well That Ends Well during the RSC’s Complete Works Festival.
Kelly Hunter’s previous RSC roles include: Constance in Gregory Doran’s production of King John and Isobel in Stephen Poliakoff’s Talk of the City in 1998. She played the mother in David Farr’s production of Metamorphosis at the Lyric Hammersmith. Her TV credits include Doctor Who (2008), Waking the Dead, The Things I Haven’t Told You, Trial and Retribution and Bleak House. Films include The Golden Age, Vanity Fair and The Hole.
Samantha Young (Perdita) played Ellen in Ramin Gray’s recent production of I’ll be the Devil for the RSC. Other stage work includes Fall for the Traverse Theatre, Ophelia in Hamlet at the Citizens Theatre, Adele in Europe at the Dundee Rep, Pixie Pumpkin in Gobbie and Julie in Julie – both for the National Theatre of Scotland. Samantha’s television appearances include Casualty and River City.
The cast also includes Adam Burton as the Sicilian Lord, Brian Doherty as Autolycus, Phillip Edgerley as Cleomenes, James Gale as Antigonus, Gruffud Glyn as the Young Shepherd, Paul Hamilton as Dion, John Mackay as Camillo, Patrick Romer as Gaoler/Time, David Rubin as a Sicilian Lord, Oliver Ryan as the Servant in Bohemia, Simone Saunders as Dorcas Sam Troughton as the Third Gentleman, Larrington Walker as the Old Shepherd and Hannah Young as Emilia.
Paul Hamilton and John Mackay were part of Michael Boyd’s award winning Histories season (2006/7) and Larrington Walker is part of the RSC’s 2008/9 season (The Merchant of Venice, Adriano Shaplins’s The History of Thomas Hobbes and The Taming of the Shrew.) The Taming of the Shrew is part of the RSC’s London season at the Novello.