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RSC returns to Newcastle

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The world renowned Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) is making a much anticipated return to Newcastle Theatre Royal this autumn with a full three-week season featuring a trio of new productions – Hamlet (18 - 26 Oct), As You Like it (29 Oct - 2 Nov) and All’s Well That Ends Well (5-9 Nov).

The autumn 2013 RSC season will be the last programmed by the company’s former Artistic Director Michael Boyd and features an ensemble cross-cast. One of the highlights is a new production of Shakespeare’s As You Like It featuring a score composed by none other than twice Mercury nominated, Brit Award winner English folk musician Laura Marling.

Shakespeare’s pastoral comedy, As You Like It, is directed by Maria Aberg, whose work for the RSC includes: King John, The Gods Weep, the 2009 contemporary hit, Days of Significance, and, as associate director, the 2006 productions of The Winter’s Tale and Pericles. Pippa Nixon and Alex Waldmann lead the cast in the principal roles of Rosalind and Orlando.

Pippa Nixon’s RSC credits include Richard III and King John in 2012, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Cardenio, The City Madam and Much Ado about Nothing. She will be particularly remembered by Newcastle audiences for her 2009 debut as the outspoken Trish in Days of Significance (Northern Stage).

Alex Waldmann made his RSC debut in 2012 in the title role of King John, and also starred in Richard III and A Soldier in Every Son. He has previously performed for the National Theatre, Almeida Theatre, Donmar West End and for Cheek by Jowl.

The new production of Shakespeare’s tragic tale of betrayal and revenge Hamlet is directed by RSC Associate Director David Farr, and stars Charlotte Cornwell as Gertrude, set to return to the RSC after an absence of 32 years. Jonathan Slinger plays Hamlet alongside Greg Hicks as Claudius. Pippa Nixon plays Ophelia. Jonathan Slinger took on the roles of Prospero in The Tempest and Malvolio in Twelfth Night as part of the World Shakespeare Festival in 2012. His other RSC credits include the title role in Michael Boyd’s Macbeth and also Boyd’s award-winning Histories ensemble – in which he played Richard II and Richard III. His television credits include: The Adventures of Daniel (BBC), Vexed, Paradox, Krod Mondoon and Hustle and his film work includes The Veil of Maya (2010) and The Knight’s Tale (2000).

Charlotte Cornwell’s numerous TV and film credits include the 1970s classic Rock Follies and more recently Family Affair and The West Wing. Associate Artist Greg Hicks was last at the RSC in 2010 where he played Leontes in The Winter’s Tale and the title roles in Julius Caesar and King Lear.

The RSC’s new production of one of Shakespeare’s rarely seen plays, the comic romance, All’s Well that Ends Well, is directed by Nancy Meckler - the first woman to direct at the National Theatre and currently joint artistic director of Shared Experience Theatre Company.

RSC Associate Artists, Greg Hicks and Jonathan Slinger take the roles of the King of France and Parolles respectively and Charlotte Cornwell plays The Countess. Alex Waldmann stars as Bertram and Joanna Horton as Helena.

Joanna Horton most recently played Barbara in Maria Aberg’s production of Dennis Kelly’s The Gods Weep in 2010. Other RSC work includes Hannah in Days of Significance in 2009.

Gregory Doran, Artistic Director of the RSC said: “Our special relationship with the North East of England is a source of great pride to the Company. The audiences in Newcastle are wonderful and the actors enjoy their time performing in this great cultural city very much. Our new Deputy Artistic Director Erica Whyman brings significant understanding of Newcastle and the potential for future partnerships, and we are all looking forward to working together over the coming years. The new productions this year offer something for everyone – the heady emotion and stark tensions of Hamlet contrast with the light pastoral comedy of As You like It and the romance and politics of All’s Well That Ends Well, with a great company brimming with familiar faces at the helm.”

The RSC season appears at Newcastle Theatre Royal from 18 October – 9 November 2013. Hamlet appears 18 - 26 Oct, 7pm (matinees 19, 24 & 26 Oct, 1pm), As You Like It runs 29 October - 2 Nov, 7.30pm (matinees 31 Oct & 2 Nov, 1.30pm), All’s Well That Ends Well 5 - 9 Nov, 7.30pm (matinees 7 & 9 Nov, 1.30pm).


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