Theatre News

RSC's Imperium transfers into the West End

Mike Poulton’s two-part play transfers from Stratford

Richard McCabe as Cicero in Imperium Part I- Conspirator
Richard McCabe as Cicero in Imperium Part I- Conspirator
Ikin Yum © RSC

Mike Poulton's adaptation of Imperium, which originally ran at the RSC in December, will transfer into the West End in June.

Directed by RSC artistic director Gregory Doran, the piece, which runs as six one-act plays performed in two parts, (part one is entitled Conspirator and part two Dictator) is based on Robert Harris' series of novels collectively known as the Cicero books. The piece charts the downfall of the Republic of Rome and the role of philosopher and rhetorician Cicero in the death of Julius Caesar.

The West End production's cast will be led by Richard McCabe (The Audience) who will play the lead role of Cicero, joined by Joseph Kloska as his servant Tiro, who narrates the show. Also performing will be Nicholas Boulton, Guy Burgess, Daniel Burke, Jade Croot, Peter De Jersey, Joe Dixon, John Dougall, Michael Grady-Hall, Oliver Johnstone, Paul Kemp, Patrick Knowles, Hywel Morgan, David Nicolle, Siobhan Redmond, Patrick Romer, Christopher Saul, Eloise Secker and Simon Thorp. Further casting is still to be confirmed.

Further casting for the production is to be announced.

Premiering at the RSC Swan Theatre in December 2017, in his five-star review of the doubleheader critic Michael Davies said that "the sheer scale of the enterprise inspires awe".

The piece is the second collaboration between Poulton and the RSC to come to the West End, following an adaptation of Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies which also transferred from Stratford back in 2014.

Imperium is designed by Anthony Ward with lighting by Mark Henderson. Music is composed by Paul Englishby, with sound by Claire Windsor. Movement is by Anna Morrissey.

The show will run in the Gielgud Theatre following the conclusion of the current run of Jez Butterworth's The Ferryman, and comes before the previously announced production of Company starring Patti LuPone and Rosalie Craig which opens at the end of September.

It was also announced today that three of the RSC's shows will be transferring to the Barbican, with the Christopher Eccleston-led Macbeth coming to the venue later this year.

Imperium opens on 30 June and runs until 8 September, with previews from 14 June.