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RSC Bring Syal Much Ado & Julius Caesar to Noel Coward

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The RSC will mount a second London transfer of its work next summer, bringing Gregory Doran's Julius Caesar and Iqbal Khan's Much Ado About Nothing starring Meera Syal to the West End's Noel Coward Theatre following their Stratford premieres.

The productions, which open in May at Royal Shakespeare Theatre and July at Courtyard Theatre respectively, will play back-to-back runs at the Noel Coward from August to October, marking the first time the RSC has played the Noel Coward since the Tragedies season came to the then Albery Theatre in 2004 followed by Laurence Boswell's Hecuba starring Vanessa Redgrave.

Doran’s "finds dark contemporary echoes in modern Africa." The cast includes Adjoa Andoh, Ray Fearon, Paterson Joseph, Jeffery Kissoon and Joseph Mydell

In his RSC directorial debut, Iqbal Khan transposes Shakespeare’s unsettling comedy of love and deceit to an Indian setting. Syal takes on the role of Beatrice, with further casting still to be announced.

The West End transfers will come to London shortly after the RSC's 'Whats Country Friend is This?' season of The Comedy of Errors, Twelfth Night and The Tempest which, as previously reported, plays the Roundhouse in Camden in June 2012.

The three productions, led by RSC associate David Farr and cast with a single ensemble, will come to the Roudhouse during a break in their Stratford seasons which run from March to October.

Speaking about today's announcements, RSC executive director Vikki Heywood said in a press statement: “I am delighted that the RSC is able to bring these two productions to the West End during the summer of 2012. It’s great to be working with Delfont Mackintosh Theatres once again and we look forward to a London summer full of Shakespeare."

Julius Caesar has design by Michael Vale, with music by Akintayo Akinbode, lighting by Vince Herbert, sound by Jonathan Ruddick, and fight direction by Kev McCurdy. Further casting for Iqbal Khan's production of Much Ado About Nothing have still to be announced.

Dates for the RSC's Noel Coward season have still to be confirmed, with tickets going on sale to members of the RSC from February next year and the general public in March.

Both London transfers are underwritten by oil giant BP who are "founding presenting partners" of the World Shakespeare Festival, of which both of the seasons are part. Starting on 12 April and running until November, the World Shakespeare Festival also forms part of the 12-week London 2012 Festival and the Cultural Olympiad.

Currently playing at the Noel Coward Theatre, Broadway jukebox musical Million Dollar Quartet - which tells the story of the night in 1956 when Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis came together in the same recording studio - will complete its London run on 14 January 2012 after a year in the West End.

Million Dollar Quartet is followed into the Noel Coward from 23 February (previews from 10 February) to 2 June 2012 by Coward’s Hay Fever starring Lindsay Duncan, directed by Howard Davies.


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