Patrick Stewart
(© Tristan Fuge)
Patrick Stewart
(© Tristan Fuge)
Casting has been announced for several upcoming productions in the Royal Shakespeare Company's 50th Birthday Season, featuring nine plays in the newly transformed Royal Shakespeare Theatre and the Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Jonathan Slinger will play the title role in Shakespeare's Macbeth (April 16-October 6), directed by Michael Boyd. Aislín McGuckin will play Lady Macbeth, with the cast also featuring Madeline Appiah (Gentlewoman) Jamie Beamish (Porter), Howard Charles (Malcolm), Scott Handy (Ross), Aidan Kelly (Macduff), Caroline Martin (Lady Macduff), Des McAleer (Duncan), Nikesh Patel (Donalbain), Daniel Percival (First Murderer), Daniel Rose (Second Murderer), Steve Toussaint (Banquo), Christopher Wright (Doctor). Designs are by RSC Associate, Tom Piper, lighting by Jean Kalman, music by Craig Armstrong, sound by Andrew Franks, movement by Struan Leslie and fights by Terry King.

The creative team will feature Tom Piper (costumes), Tim Mitchell (lighting), Dan Jones (music and sound), Struan Leslie (movement), and Renny Krupinski (fights).

Patrick Stewart will portray Shylock in Rupert Goold's production of The Merchant of Venice (May 13-September 26). Susannah Fielding will co-star as Portia, with the cast also featuring Madeline Appiah, Jamie Beamish (Launcelot Gobbo), Howard Charles (Gratiano), Scott Handy (Antonio), Aidan Kelly, Caroline Martin (Jessica), Des McAleer (Duke of Venice/Old Gobbo), Jason Morell (Arragon), David Ononokpono (Morocco), Nikesh Patel (Balthasar), Daniel Percival (Lorenzo), Emily Plumtree (Nerissa), Richard Riddell (Bassanio), Daniel Rose, Steve Toussaint, and Christopher Wright (Tubal).

The production will be designed by Tom Scutt, with lighting by Rick Fisher, music by Adam Cork, sound by Gregory Clarke, choreography by Scott Ambler and music associate and orchestrations by Alex Baranowski.

Nancy Meckler's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream (July 29-November 5) will feature Pippa Nixon as Titania, the Queen of the Fairies and Hippolyta, with Jo Stone-Fewings as Oberon, the King of the Fairies and Theseus. The cast will also include Lucy Briggs-Owen (Helena), Alex Hassell (Demetrius), Matti Houghton (Hermia), Nathaniel Martello-White (Lysander), Maya Barcot (Fairy), Christopher Chilton (Fairy), Kammy Darweish (Egeus), Christopher Godwin (Quince), Michael Grady-Hall (Flute), Felix Hayes (Snug), Chiké Okonkwo (Snout) and Timothy Speyer (Starveling). The production will be designed by Katrina Lindsay with lighting by Wolfgang Gobbel.

Anthony Neilson will direct Peter Weiss' Marat/Sade (October 14-November 5), featuring movement by Anna Morrissey and lighting by Chahine Yavroyan. Casting will be announced at a later date.

Swan Theatre productions will begin with a re-imagined production of Shakespeare's "lost play," Cardenio (April 14-October 6). Newcomer Olly Rix will play the title role, with the cast also featuring Maya Barcot (Nun), Lucy Briggs-Owen (Luscinda), Christopher Chilton (Priest), Liz Crowther (Duenna), Nicholas Day (Don Bernardo), Christopher Ettridge (Duke), Christopher Godwin (Don Camillo), Michael Grady-Hall (Shepherd), Alex Hassell (Fernando), Felix Hayes (Shepherd), Matti Houghton (Maid), Simeon Moore (Pedro), Harry Myers (Citizen), Pippa Nixon (Dorotea), Chiké Okonkwo (Gerardo) and Timothy Speyer (Master Shepherd).

The creative team will include Niki Turner (designer), Tim Mitchell (lighting), Paul Englishby (music), Martin Slavin (sound), Michael Ashcroft (movement), and Terry King (fights).

Dominic Hill will direct Philip Massinger's The City Madam (May 5-October 4), starring Christopher Godwin and Jo Stone-Fewings as brothers John and Luke Frugal and Sara Crowe as Lady Frugal. The cast will also include Lucy Briggs-Owen (Anne), Christopher Chilton (Dingem), Liz Crowther (Millicent/Secret), Kammy Darweish (Old Tradewell/Fortune), Nicholas Day (Lord Lacy), Christopher Ettridge (Holdfast), Michael Grady-Hall (Scuffle), Alex Hassell (Maurice), Felix Hayes (Mr Plenty), Matti Houghton (Mary), Nathaniel Martello-White (Goldwire), Andrew Melville (Hoist/Old Goldwire), Simeon Moore (Stargaze), Harry Myers (Getall/Serjeant), Pippa Nixon (Shavem), Chiké Okonkwo (Tradewell), Olly Rix and Timothy Speyer (Penury).

The production will feature costumes by Tom Piper, lighting by Tim Mitchell, music and sound by Dan Jones, movement by Struan Leslie and fights by Renny Krupinski.

Roxana Silbert revives her acclaimed production of David Greig's Dunsinane (June 15-July 2). The cast will feature Brian Ferguson (Malcolm), Lisa Hogg (Attendant), Joshua Jenkins (Soldier/Lord), Alex Mann (Egham), Mairi Morrison (Attendant) and Jonny Phillips (Siward) and Siobhan Redmond (Gruach).

The creative team will feature Robert Innes Hopkins (designer), Chahine Yavroyan (lighting), Nick Powell (music and sound), Anna Morrissey (movement) and Terry King (fights).

David Farr will direct Harold Pinter's The Homecoming (July 28-October 15), featuring Des McAleer (Sam), Aislín McGuckin (Ruth), Richard Riddell (Joey), and Jonathan Slinger (Lenny) with further casting to be announced. It will be designed by John Bausor with lighting by Jon Clark.

The Young People's Shakespeare production of The Taming of the Shrew (September 24-October 15) will be edited and directed by Tim Crouch. David Ononokpono and Madeline Appiah will star as Petruchio and Katherina, with the cast also featuring Jamie Beamish (Christopher Sly), Caroline Martin (Baptista), Jason Morell (Grumio/Gremio), Nikesh Patel (Lucentio), Daniel Percival (Tranio), Emily Plumtree (Bianca) and Daniel Rose (Hortensio).

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