Theatre News

Romola Garai and Robert Harris' Cicero series in new RSC season

Harris’ novels have been adapted for the stage by Mike Poulton

Romola Garai
Romola Garai
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

Romola Garai is to star in the West End transfer of the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of Queen Anne, directed by Natalie Abrahami.

The show is to transfer to the Theatre Royal Haymarket in June for a 13-week season with Garai starring as the Duchess of Marlborough. Emma Cunniffe will reprise her role of Queen Anne. It will run from 30 June to 30 September 2017.

Queen Anne originally ran at the Swan Theatre in Stratford-Upon-Avon in 2015, with Natasha McElhone as the Duchess, Sarah Churchill. Read our four star review of the show here.

The RSC's winter 2017 season will also feature the world premiere adaptation of Robert Harris' best-selling Cicero trilogy.

Beginning in 2006 with Imperium, Harris' Cicero novels centre on the life of the the Roman orator Cicero. The following books were Lustrum and Dictator. Greg Doran directs Mike Poulton's adaptation, which will be staged as six plays over two performances. Part one is called Conspirator and will run form 16 November and part two is called Dictator and will open on 23 November. Both close on 10 February 2018. Poulton also adapted the RSC's hit adaptations of Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall trilogy.

Doran said: "The Cicero plays distill a great analysis of power. Harris' novels are like Rome meets the West Wing."

Casting for the upcoming production of Angus Jackson's Coriolanus has also been announced. Sope Dirisu will take on the title role. Dirisu was last seen at the Donmar Warehouse in the production of One Night in Miaimi. It runs from 15 September to 14 October, and will be broadcast live to cinemas on 11 October.

Elsewhere in the season, Christopher Luscombe returns to the RSC following his hit productions of Love's Labour's Lost and Much Ado About Nothing or Love's Labour's Won with a production of Twelfth Night which runs from 2 November to 24 February 2018.

The RSC's Christmas show this year will be the world premiere of David Edgar's adaptation of Dickens' A Christmas Carol, which will be directed by Rachel Kavanaugh, and runs from 27 November until 4 February 2018. The production will be designed by Stephen Brimson Lewis, who designed The Tempest starring Simon Russell Beale,

In the Mischief Festival this year, there will be a showcase of two premieres from 24 May, directed by Erica Whyman and Kirsty Housley. Tom Morton-Smith's play The Earthworks is about a journalist and a scientist who meet on the eve of the activation of the Large Hadron Collider, and Housley and Matt Hartley's Myth is about a dinner party that descends into chaos.

The RSC have also launched a new talent development scheme, RSC Next Generation, which will give young people from financially disadvantaged backgrounds the chance to explore a career in theatre. The scheme focuses on acting, directing and backstage roles and participants will be drawn from the RSC's 500 Asspcoate and Partner Schools nationwide.