Antony Sher (pictured), Malcolm Storry and Tom Mannion will join the line-up of stars in the RSC's spring/summer 2002 season which sees the company split into three separate ensembles performing simultaneously in Stratford and London. As already announced, Sinead Cusack, Harriet Walter and Nicolas Le Prevost will also feature.

Sher will be seen in two rarely performed works - Philip Massinger's The Roman Actor (now directed by Sean Holmes after the withdrawal of David Hunt due to illness) and John Webster and John Marston's The Malcontent (directed by Dominic Cooke) - which open at Stratford's Swan Theatre in May and August respectively. Sher's many acclaimed stage credits include Stanley, The Winter's Tale, Cyrano de Bergerac, Richard III and King Lear.

Also in the Swan season, David Rintoul will play the title role in Edward III. That production's director Edward Hall controversially resigned this week over "artistic differences". The play will now be directed by Anthony Clark and will open on 25 April, following previews from 10 April.

Malcolm Storry, most recently seen on tour in The Caretaker, will play Prospero in Michael Boyd's production of The Tempest, which opens at the Roundhouse in Camden, north London, in May. The Roundhouse season has also attracted Pinter stalwart Douglas Hodge and Rolf Saxon (Dinner with Friends, The Seven Year Itch and The Graduate) to Matthew Warchus' The Winter's Tale which opens the schedule on 9 April. The Roundhouse will also host Adrian Noble's production of Pericles in June and July.

The ensemble at Stratford's Royal Shakespeare Theatre is perhaps the most high-profile. As already announced (see News, 22 Feb 01), the two productions there - Antony and Cleopatra starring Sinead Cusack and Stuart Wilson, and Much Ado About Nothing with Harriet Walter and Nicholas Le Prevost - will transfer to the West End's Theatre Royal Haymarket after their Stratford runs conclude in July.

Elsewhere, Tom Mannion, currently in Edward Hall's Julius Caesar at the Barbican, will star in the world premiere of David Farr's Night of the Soul, directed by the author at the Barbican Pit in April. The production also features Zoe Waites.

- by Terri Paddock