RSC back in Plymouth

THE Royal Shakespeare Com­pany returns to Plym­outh from 12th to 22nd Feb­ruary, with three plays for the eager audience.

The Devon city, with Newcastle on Tyne,  was included in the company’s major regional tours in 1997 and 1998, before government cuts and financial difficulties forced their cancellation.

Now the Stratford-based company brings three favourite plays to the south west. They are As You Like It, The Taming of the Shrew and Measure for Measure and each member the 27-strong company of  appears in two of the three productions.

As You Like It is directed by Kimberley Sykes, The Taming of the Shrew by Justin Audibert and Measure for Measure by Gregory Doran.

The company’s artistic director Gregory Doran, who also directs Measure for Measure, says: “We have worked hard to assemble a company of actors which reflects the nation in ways it has never done before. Featuring a 50/50 gender balanced ensemble, we have brought together talent from all corners of the United Kingdom, reflecting both the ethnic, geographical and cultural diversity of Britain today and those artists who are underrepresented on our stages. We want to create a season of work which places contemporary audiences at its heart, which speaks directly to the present moment.”

Lucy Phelps plays Rosalind in Kimberley Sykes’ production of As You Like It, with David Ajao as Orlando.

Justin Audibert’s reimagined staging of The Taming of the Shrew, Claire Price plays Petruchia and Joseph Arkley plays Katherine in a cast where women play the roles written as men, and men play those written as women.

Sandy Grierson will play Angelo in Gregory Doran’s Measure for Measure, with Antony Byrne as The Duke.  and Lucy Phelps as Isabella.

There are four performances of each play, including one matinee. Measure for Measure is performed on 21st March at 7.30 and at 1.30 on 22nd February. The  Taming of the Shrew is performed on 22nd March.  The As You Like it Run is now over.

For more information, telephone 01752 267222 or visit the website, www.theatreroyal.com