Richard III and All's Well That Ends Well to be staged by the RSC this year
The Royal Shakespeare Company has revealed two new productions scheduled to hit the stage later this year.
Disabled actor Arthur Hughes, who is perhaps best known for his roles as Ryan McDaniel in Netflix's The Innocents and Ruairi Donovan in BBC Radio 4's The Archers, will take on the titular role in Richard III.
Directed by Gregory Doran, the piece will run at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre from 23 June to 8 October 2022.
Hughes said: "It's no exaggeration to say that playing Richard at the RSC is a dream come true. Richard is the most murderous and charismatic character in Shakespeare's plays, and… he's disabled! I'm thrilled not only to be playing this title role at the RSC, but also that a major production of this play is putting disability centre stage. It's sadly rare in many plays to find a leading disabled character, and with this production I hope we prove that disabled talent deserves to be in the spotlight."
In addition, Blanche McIntyre is set to helm a new production of All's Well That Ends Well, which will play in repertory with Richard III from 16 August to 8 October at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.
McIntyre commented: "I am so excited to have the chance to direct Shakespeare's most modern comedy at the RSC. All's Well That Ends Well, as full of grief and nostalgia as romance and adventure, with its story of sexual politics, class prejudice and generation gaps, would always have felt contemporary. But the fantasy relationships and fake identities in the play make it a perfect match for our anxious, idealistic, lonely, social-media-addicted age.
"I'm thrilled to be working again with designer Robert Innes Hopkins for our second RSC collaboration. We can promise a fleet-footed, inventive, contemporary, colourful production, with one foot in real life and one in the online world. I look forward very much to bringing it to audiences, and I hope they will have a thought-provoking as well as entertaining evening."
McIntyre and Innes Hopkins previously collaborated on the RSC's 2017 staging of Titus Andronicus.
These two newly announced titles mark the final productions of the company's ten-year pledge to produce all of the Bard's collected plays on the Royal Shakespeare Theatre stage.