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RSC casts female Cymbeline

Casting has been announced for the Royal Shakespeare Company's 2016 shows Cymbeline and King Lear

Gillian Bevan will play Cymbeline
© Dan Wooller

Further casting has been announced for the RSC's productions of Cymbeline and King Lear.

Gillian Bevan, known for Channel 4's comedy Teachers will play the British ruler Cymbeline. Bevan will be the first woman to play the role for the RSC. Melly Still's production will see many of Cymbeline's male characters played by women.

As well as Bevan, Doreene Blackstock will play Cornelius, Natalie Simpson will play Guiderius and Kelly Williams will play Pisanio.

Bethan Cullinane will play Innogen and Hiran Abeysekera will play Posthumus. Oliver Johnstone will play Iachimo.

As well as Cymbeline, cast joining Antony Sher in King Lear have also been announced. David Toughton will play Gloucester. Natalie Simpson - who played Juliet in the Young Vic's recent Measure for Measure - will make her RSC debut as Cordelia. Antony Byrne and Nia Gwynne will play Kent and Goneril.

Paapa Essiedu, who will play Hamlet for the RSC earlier in the year, will also star in King Lear as Edmund.

Cymbeline runs from 29 April to 12 August. King Lear runs from 20 August to 15 October.