Theatre News

Antony Sher to play King Lear at RSC

Also announced today is a new production of ”Henry V” to coincide with the 600th anniversary of Agincourt

Gregory Doran and Antony Sher at the Critics' Circle Awards
Gregory Doran and Antony Sher at the Critics' Circle Awards
© Dan Wooller

Antony Sher will play King Lear as part of the Royal Shakespeare Company's newly-announced season.

Artistic director Gregory Doran will direct the production, which will run next summer as a companion piece to Doran's production of Death of a Salesman, also starring Sher, which opens in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre next month.

Doran said: "Death of a Salesman is without doubt, in my mind, the greatest American play of the 20th Century. One of the reasons I feel justified in presenting this greatest of American tragedies in our main house on Shakespeare’s Birthday this year, is that it sits in its rightful place on our stage alongside Shakespeare's greatest works. By linking it with King Lear, in sequence, with the same leading actor, and director, we assert that."

Doran also directs a new production of Henry V, which runs in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre from 2 September to 25 October 2015 to coincide with the 600th anniversary of the battle of Agincourt. It stars Alex Hassall in the title role, who recently played Prince Hal opposite Sher's Falstaff.

It's followed in the RST by a return for Wendy & Peter Pan by Ella Hickson, adapted from the novel by JM Barrie, which runs from 17 November 2015 to 31 January 2016. Directed by Jonathan Munby, the production was first seen in December 2013.

In the Swan Theare, Marina Carr's new play Hecuba runs from 17 September to 17 October 2015, directed by RSC deputy artistic director Erica Whyman. A reimagining of Euripides' tragedy, it explores "war, womanhood and regime change".

Next up is a revival of William Congreve's Restoration comedy Love for Love helmed by Selina Cadell. Running from 28 October 2015 to 22 January 2016, it marks the first production of the play by the RSC and only the second Congreve play ever to be performed by the company.

Love for Love runs in rep with the premiere of Queen Anne by Helen Edmundson (The Heresy of Love), centring on the relationship between Queen Anne and the Duchess of Marlborough. It will mark the RSC directing debut of Young Vic associate Natalie Abrahami.

To mark Shakespeare's birthday on 26 April 2015, the RSC has launched a song competition, asking for a new musical composition based on the words from one of Shakespeare's own songs. The winning song will be performed at the RSC's annual birthday celebrations in Stratford-upon-Avon.