Theatre News

Les Dennis to make RSC debut with Rufus Hound returning to the venue

Les Dennis will star in two shows as part of the Stratford venue’s summer season

Natalie Dew, Les Dennis and Rufus Hound
Natalie Dew, Les Dennis and Rufus Hound
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

Les Dennis will make his RSC debut this summer in two shows at the Stratford venue.

Comedian and actor Dennis, who recently appeared in On The Pier at the Park Theatre and the UK tour of The Addams Family, has been presenting TV shows for decades, including The Russ Abbott Show and Family Fortunes.

He will appear in two revivals during the summer season. The first is John Vanbrugh's Restoration play The Provoked Wife, which is about a disillusioned aristocrat Lady Brute who decides to have an affair with a younger man. Dennis plays Colonel Bully in the show, which is directed by Phillip Breen. The second show is Prasanna Puwanarajah's production of Thomas Otway's Venice Preserved, about two noblemen trying to battle corruption in 17th century Venice.

Joining Dennis in The Provoked Wife will be Rufus Hound, who returns to Stratford following his appearance in Don Quixote (which transferred to the West End at the end of 2018). Hound will play Constant, alongside Pete Ashmore (Servant/Porter), Isabel Adomakoh Young (Cornet), Natalie Dew (Bellinda), Polly Edsell (Lovewell), Kevin N Golding (Justice), Alison Halstead (Constable), John Hodgkinson (Heartfree), Nickcolia King-N'Da (Tailor), Steve Nicolson (Rasor), Carl Prekopp (Lord Rake), Ben Roddy (Servant/Watch), Rosalind Steele (Pipe), Sarah Twomey (Mademoiselle) and Toby Webster (Treble). They join the previously announced Alexandra Gilbreath, Caroline Quentin and Jonathan Slinger.

The Provoked Wife is designed by Mark Bailey, with lighting by Tina MacHugh, music by Paddy Cunneen, sound by Dyfan Jones, movement by Ayse Tashkiran and fights by Renny Krupinski. It runs from 2 May to 7 September at the Swan Theatre.

Further casting has also been announced for Venice Preserved. Joining Jodie McNee and Dennis in the show will be Michael Grady-Hall (Imperium) as Jaffeir, Dew as Aquilina and Hodgkinson as Antonio.

The complete company will also feature Young (Spinosa), Ashmore (Theodore), Edsell (Brabe), Golding (Duke), King-N'Da (Brainveil), Nicolson (Renault), Prekopp (Eliot), Roddy (Officers), Steele (Aquilina's Maid), Twomey (Waiter) and Webster (Durand).

Venice Preserved is designed by James Cotterill with lighting by Jack Knowles, sound by George Dennis, Movement by Polly Bennett, fights by Kate Waters and video by Nina Dunn. It runs from 24 May to 7 September.