Goodman, Britton & Fielding Return to RSC in 2003Date: 4 December 2002
Two-time Olivier winner Henry Goodman will return to the Royal Shakespeare Company stage for the first time in 15 years in order to take on the title role in Sean Holmes July 2003 production of Richard III at Stratford's Royal Shakespeare Theatre. Other actors returning to the company after long absences to lead the 2003 season include Alexandra Gilbreath, Jasper Britton and Emma Fielding.
Gilbreath and Britton will pair up as battling lovers Katharine and Petruchio in a double bill of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew and John Fletcher's lesser-known 'sequel' The Tamer Tamed, both directed by RSC associate Gregory Doran in April, in the RST and the Swan respectively.
Fielding will also appear in two productions: first, playing the lead Isabella in Sean Holmes' staging of Measure for Measure at the RST in April and, second, playing the wronged lover Imogen in Dominic Cooke's production of Cymbeline, at the Swan in July.
Other season highlights include: RSC honorary associate Bill Alexander's return in September with the company's first production of Titus Andronicus since Deborah Warner's 1987 outing starring Brian Cox; and Gregory Thompson's RSC directorial debut with As You Like It at the Swan in March ahead of a transfer to Washington DC's Kennedy Center.
The 2003 season also covers the transition between outgoing artistic director Adrian Noble and incoming successor and former associate Michael Boyd, who officially takes over in April. As already announced (See News, 18 Nov 2002), Noble's final production as artistic director will be the Ralph Fiennes-led production of Ibsen's Brand which starts performances at the Swan in April ahead of a West End opening at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in June 2003.
At a critics' lunch held today in London, Boyd said he's "not going near a rehearsal room until at least next November". He intends to spend the intervening months tackling the RSC's financial and strategic planning problems and getting to grip with other aspects of the new job. Both directors reiterated the company's intention to rebuild a permanent home in the capital and to oversee major structural changes at Stratford, though a decision on whether that meant the previously proposed demolition of the listed RST has yet to be finalised.
- Terri Paddock