RSC Highlights Xmas Beauty & Goodman’s ReturnDate: 30 May 2003
The Royal Shakespeare Company has announced the details for its Christmas show, Beauty and the Beast which will have recently appointed associate director Laurence Boswell at the helm.
This will be Boswell’s third Beauty. After directing a production at the Young Vic in 1996 (which won the Barclay’s/ TMA award for Best play for Young People), Boswell went on to recreate the show at the New Zealand international Festival. But this promises to be a new version of the story, rewritten by Boswell, and rooted in the world of 18th century France, ‘fully re-imagined, … for a cast of 18 actors and eight musicians’.
Boswell’s other RSC work includes The Painter of Dishonour and Bartholomew Fair. His impressive West End credits number three high profile productions; This is Our Youth, Madonna’s Up for Grabs and Eddie Izzard and Victoria Hamilton’s A Day in the Death of Joe Egg which was hugely successful on both sides of the Atlantic and marked Boswell’s Broadway debut. It is currently running at the American Airlines theatre where Boswell is in contention for the Tony award for Best Direction of a Play.
Other members of the Beauty and the Beast creative team are designer Jeremy Herbert who most recently designed Sexual Perversity in Chicago in the West End and composer Mick Sands, who has created an almost continuous score which ranges from 18th century court music to the eastern sounds of sitar and gamelan. Choreography is by Stuart Hopps.
Other late summer/ early autumn highlights include Henry Goodman’s return to the RSC after a 16 year absence in the title role of Richard III. Goodman’s other work includes Shylock in The Merchant of Venice, Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls (both at the National Theatre) and Billy Flynn in Chicago and a short lived run in The Producers on Broadway.
Actor David Bradley is set to play Titus Andronicus, a play described by director Bill Alexander as “the biggest blood bath in Shakespeare’s canon”. Bradley was last seen at the RSC in The Tempest and King Lear, but most recently he performed in the Sam Mendes' double-bill of Twelfth Night and Uncle Vanya at the Donmar. He is now internationally known for playing the caretaker, Filch, in the Harry Potter films.
Beauty and the Beast previews from 29 November and opens on 10 December 2003 with the final performance on 21 February 2004.
- By Hannah Kennedy