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Slinger & Taaffe Lead Cast of RSC's Country Trilogy

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As part of next year's World Shakespeare Festival, the RSC will present What Country Friends is This?, a trilogy of The Comedy of Errors, Twelfth Night, and The Tempest, featuring an acting company led by Jonathan Slinger and Emily Taaffe.

Playing at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford from 16 March to 14 May 2012 and again from 16 July to 6 October 2012, What Country Friends is This? will cross-cast actors and share the same creative team, led by RSC associate director David Farr. The productions will transfer to The Roundhouse in London from 1 June to 14 July.

RSC regular Jonathan Slinger will play Dr Pinch in The Comedy of Errors, Malvolio in Twelfth Night and Prospero in The Tempest. He most recently played the title role in Macbeth in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, and was also featured in The Homecoming at the Swan, the West End production of Yes Prime Minister, and in Michael Boyd's Histories Cycle in 2008 and 2009.

Making her RSC debut, emerging actress Emily Taaffe will play Viola in Twelfth Night and Miranda in The Tempest. Her theatre credits include The Veil, The Cherry Orchard, and Nation at the National Theatre, Translations, Memory Cells, The Crucible, and Intemperance.

The full cast includes Ankur Bahl, Sarah Belcher, Amie Burns Walker, Kirsty Bushell, Nicholas Day, Sandy Grierson, Stephen Hagan, Felix Hayes, Amer Hlehel, Solomon Israel, Jan Knightley, Bruce Mackinnon, Jonathan McGuinness, Kevin McMonagle, Cecilia Noble, and Sargon Yelda.

The Comedy of Errors will be directed by Amir Nizar Zuabi, founder of the Palestinian theatre company ShiberHur, whose recent credits include In The Penal Colony and I Am Yusuf and This is My Brother for the Young Vic. Twelfth Night and The Tempest will both be helmed by Farr.

All three productions are designed by Jon Bausor with lighting by Jon Clark, music and sound by Christopher Shutt and movement by Fin Walker.

- Natalie Generalovich


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