A host of celebrated actors from stage and screen will once again tread the boards at Chester's Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre this summer from 5 July to 26 August 2013.
Now in its forth year and the only full-time, professional open air theatre outside of London, this theatrical summer delight is firmly established as a highlight of the city's cultural calendar. This year, Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre producers' Chester Performs are taking on three brand new productions to run in rep.
Shakespeare's much-loved comedy A Midsummer Nights Dream and tragedy Othello will be played alongside a new adaptation of Cyrano de Bergerac. Performances take place in the unique picnic theatre, which now features covered seating, from 5 July–25 August – for an extended eight-week run.
Olivier Award-winning theatre director Lucy Pitman-Wallace will be joining the team as director of Glyn Maxwell's new adaptation of Cyrano de Bergerac.
Lucy is a former Associate Director at the RSC. Her directing credits include Eastward Ho! which was performed as part of the RSC Swan Season, winning the Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement of the Year.
She will join the theatre's artistic director Alex Clifton, who has been in post since the theatre's debut in 2010. Clifton, born and raised in Chester, will direct A Midsummer Night's Dream and Othello.
The production of A Midsummer Night's Dream will star RADA graduates Simon Coombs and Verity Kirk as Lysander and Hermia. Samuel Collings is to play Demetrius while the mischievous fairy Puck will be performed by Welsh twins Danielle and Nichole Bird.
Bottom will be played by Graham O'Mara, whose theatre credits include The Three Musketeers (The Young Vic); The Winter's Tale (Theatre Delicatessen) and Romeo & Juliet (Wylde Thyme UK Tour) and television credits for Good Cop (BBC) and The Queen (Channel 4).
Victoria Gee returns to Grosvenor Park to play Helena. And other Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre alumni include Krupa Pattani playing Titania and Chris Vincent as Oberon.
For Othello, welsh actress Rebecca Smith-Williams will play Desdemona. The title role will be performed by RADA graduate Simon Coombs, while Graham O'Mara will be playing Shakespeare's notorious villain and wordsmith Iago.
For the swash-buckling Cyrano de Bergerac, the title role is filled by Edward Harrison. Harrison's theatre credits include Henry IV (Theatre Royal Bath); The Rivals (Theatre Royal Haymarket); A Midsummer Night's Dream and Much Ado About Nothing (Lord Chamberlain's Men UK Tour).
Roxanne will be played by Sally Scott - The Importance of Being Earnest (Salisbury Playhouse); Love's Labours Lost (Rose Theatre Kingston) and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Apollo Theatre, West End). And, as Le Bret, 2010 Open Air Theatre cast member Leon Scott also returns.